Rutgers University in New Jersey has announced a campaign to create an endowed interdisciplinary professorship named for American feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies — a collaboration among Rutgers' Institute for Women's Leadership, School of Communication and Information, and Department of Women's and Gender Studies — will immerse students in debate and scholarship on issues such as how the changing media landscape can bring about social change by overcoming gender and racial stereotypes, and how new media technologies are influencing the distribution of power in the United States and beyond. The university hopes to have the chair filled by the 2016-17 academic year, which coincides with its two hundred and fiftieth anniversary as well as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Institute for Women's Leadership. Steinem, who has devoted more than four decades to advancing women’s and human rights, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
To date, the $3 million campaign to establish the chair has received pledges totaling more than $1 million from a range of donors, including the Ford, Knight, and Charles H. Revson foundations; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook; and Mortimer Zuckerman, owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report.
"As you look back over the last forty years, no movement has made a greater difference on how we think of issues concerning fairness and equity than the women’s movement, and Gloria is a symbol of that movement," said Alison R. Bernstein, director of the Institute for Women's Leadership. "Marrying the two disciplines at Rutgers could magnify the impact of the global women’s movement not just for the present, but for future generations as well."