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Bobst foundation grants $10 million for new center

The Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Foundation has agreed to donate $10 million to create the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at 83 Prospect Ave., which will provide students with funds to explore more advanced research opportunities abroad.

The center, which will be operated by the politics department, will be dedicated to advancing the cause of peace and the understanding of ethnic traditions. It will sponsor research fellowships for students and will recruit guest speakers beginning next semester.


"The center will provide funds that will allow and encourage research by students on the lessons of conflict and reconciliation," said politics department chair Jameson Doig, who will serve as the center's director. "The donation will finance research trips for graduate students, which could last for several months and will finance summer trips for students working on their senior theses, paying for their time overseas."

Meeting rooms

The donation will also finance classroom space for students to meet in seminars and conferences that focus on territorial, ethnic and religious conflicts, as well as a place for foreign officials to hold meetings. The politics department will not be adding any new courses to accompany the opening of the center, however.

A portion of the Bobst foundation's donation will be used to renovate the gothic-style building, where the center will be located. The building, which will be named Bobst Hall, is currently one of the two structures that make up Stevenson Hall and will be available once the dining services provided in Stevenson are moved to the Frist Campus Center.

Foundation ideals

"It is my profound hope that the young people who study at the center and participate in its programs will lead the way whether as leaders in different parts of the world or as teachers and thinkers who bring new insights to age-old social and political problems," Mamdouha Bobst said in a statement released by the University.

The politics department originally began looking for funds to achieve financial strength equal to that of the Wilson School or the economics department two years ago as part of the University's Anniversary Campaign, according to Doig.

"This foundation gift was the product of a good match between the pragmatic interests of the faculty and the recipient organization," University spokesman Justin Harmon '78 said. "Princeton put out a proposal that reflected the interests of the faculty, and the foundation thought the proposal related to the reasons for its being."


The Bobst foundation, which is family run, is dedicated to providing funds for education and research institutions.

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