RAI announces establishment of Edward Orsborn Professorship of US Politics and Political History

The Rothermere American Institute and University College are delighted to announce the establishment of the Edward Orsborn Professorship of US Politics and Political History. The Professor will be the Director of the Rothermere American Institute and a Fellow of University College.

The creation of a permanent Chair to lead the RAI gives new strength to the Institute’s mission of promoting the greater global understanding of the United States. The holder of the Orsborn Professorship will teach American politics and history to undergraduates, supervise postgraduate studies, and publish world-class research on the politics and political history of the United States. The post is named in honour of Edward Orsborn, a distinguished and much-loved headteacher and writer who received an OBE for services to education in 1974.

The endowment of the Orsborn Professorship has been made possible by a gift of exceptional generosity from an anonymous benefactor who studied American Politics as part of the undergraduate PPE course, a donation of £1m from the Rothermere Foundation, and a gift of £400,000 by a University College alumnus. Their philanthropy completes the Institute’s £7m ‘Campaign for the RAI’, launched in June 2012, which has also supported graduate scholarships, junior research fellowships, and the Institute’s unique programme of research and events in American history, politics, and literature. The RAI is deeply grateful to all those whose generosity has helped ensure that the study of the United States will continue to flourish at Oxford University.

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“The Rothermere American Institute plays a unique role in the global study of the United States. The establishment of the Orsborn Chair will immeasurably strengthen the Institute’s ability to fulfil its central mission: the promotion of greater public understanding of the United States its history, culture, and politics,” said Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University.

“Supporting the Rothermere American Institute has been the culmination of my family’s long and deep connections with the study of America at Oxford,” said Viscount Rothermere, Chair of the Rothermere Foundation. “These began some eighty years before the RAI was founded, with the establishment of the Harmsworth Chair in American History – the first such chair anywhere outside the U.S. Now, the endowment of the RAI’s Directorship will ensure that the Institute continues to lead and shape the international study of the United States.”

“University College is delighted to have contributed to the establishment of the Orsborn Chair and to be its college home, at a time when scholarly research and teaching has become more important than ever for greater public understanding of the politics of the United States and its historical roots,” said Sir Ivor Crewe, Master of University College.

The Edward Orsborn Chair will be advertised to applicants soon.