Message from the Chair
I am pleased to welcome you to the UCLA History Department, one of the largest and best in North America. Our 65 core faculty and thousands of students come from around the world. Similarly, our course offerings and faculty research are vast in reach and ambition. For this reason, we regard ourselves as a global department in a global city.
We approach the new academic year with a sense of excitement and opportunity despite the continuing budgetary uncertainty in California. The model of state support for public higher education that made the UC system the envy of the world has shifted irrevocably. This means that we must expand our array of partners to share in the important work of training historically knowledgeable students and infusing historical perspective into the public sphere. The challenge now is to seek out new private philanthropic partners while deepening our sense of public mission.
One of the reasons that we begin the year with a sense of optimism is that we are privileged to be the recipient of a $10 million gift from the Arcadia Fund. This gift will allow us to provide broad and deep support to our graduate students and thus remain competitive with our peer institutions, many of which are wealthy private universities. The Arcadia gift will also support faculty and graduate student research, incentives for undergraduate excellence, and a wide range of public programs intended to promote historical knowledge on campus and beyond. We are deeply grateful to the Arcadia Fund for its inspired generosity.
We are also delighted to begin the year with a number of distinguished new colleagues. They are:
- Carla Gardina Pestana, who joins us as a professor of American history and the Joyce Appleby Chair of America in the World;
- Benjamin Madley, who joins us as an assistant professor of Native American history.
We are also pleased to welcome Lauren Hirshberg, who will be with us for the next two years as an ACLS Visiting Assistant Professor.
As you will see by looking at our calendar, we have an exciting roster of lectures and seminars planned for the coming year. These events embody our belief in the importance of history as an academic pursuit, as well as an indispensable tool for informed engagement in society.
In the midst of all of this optimism, serious challenges remain ahead of us. We must continue in our quest to secure financial stability for our undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. To assure the vital role of history in our society—indeed, to cultivate critical thinking and foster world-class research—requires your support. Please join us as partners in realizing this role by making a contribution to the UCLA History Department. It will be a most worthwhile investment not only in the past, but in the future of the world in which we dwell.
David N. Myers