Seattle, WA — The Persian and Iranian Studies Program in the University of Washington’s College of Arts and Sciences raised more than $110,000 at its annual gala, including a matching gift of $20,000 from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. Funds raised at the gala will provide support for language instruction, student scholarships, workshops and public events, visiting scholars, and faculty and student research in the literature, history, politics, and culture of Iran and the Persian world.
The event was held at Mercer Island Community Center on Saturday, October 17, 2015, and included a keynote speech by Dr. Babak Parviz. Dr. Parviz is the creator of Google Glass and a Vice President at Amazon; he also holds a position as Affiliate Professor of Engineering at the University of Washington. Linda Bernardi, Chief Innovation Officer at IBM, also addressed the crowd of more than 200 community members. The Persian and Iranian Studies Program is part of the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department (NELC).
“The local Persian community once again has shown incredible support for our program and passion for our students,” commented Associate Professor Selim Kuru, NELC department chair and Persian and Iranian studies program director. “The continuing trust and support of the community will help us make the Persian and Iranian Studies Program at the University of Washington one of the strongest across the nation, and we are so grateful to the many donors who joined together to enable us to achieve this goal.”
About Persian and Iranian Studies
The Persian and Iranian Studies program at the University of Washington is dedicated to promoting teaching, scholarship, and thoughtful public discourse about all aspects of the history and culture of Iran and the Persian-speaking world. Directed by Selim Kuru, chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (NELC), the program’s scope includes the diverse Persian and Iranian cultures found throughout the Middle East and the Diaspora. Students in the Program have the opportunity to study up to four years of Persian language and literature taught in the Persian language, as well as courses on Persian literature, history, and culture in English.
The Program offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in NELC with a focus on Persian literature and Iranian studies and works closely with a wide range of other programs and departments on campus, including the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies.
About The College
The College of Arts & Sciences, founded 150 years ago, provides an education of tremendous breadth and depth to more than 27,000 students while advancing research and scholarship in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The College has more than two dozen interdisciplinary centers and ties to many other centers, enabling scholars in diverse fields to collaborate on complex research questions in the humanities, demography, labor studies, law, astrobiology, and other areas.
The College faculty generate about $90 million in research funds annually, through public and private grants. The College also serves the community through the more than 280 performances, 60 exhibits and 100 public programs annually offered through the Henry Art Gallery, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, UW World Series, and Meany Hall for the Performing Arts.