Merle Rosenblatt Goldman Chair in Asian Studies Announced

A new academic chair in Asian Studies, with a focus on modern Chinese history, has been established with a $1,500,000 gift from Marshall I. Goldman in honor of his wife, alumna and former trustee of the College Merle Rosenblatt Goldman ’53. The announcement was made by College President Karen Lawrence on March 4 at a celebratory lecture.

Roderick MacFarquhar, Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science at Harvard University and a leader in the field of modern Chinese politics, specializing in Mao Zedong’s thought and policies, delivered the lecture and spoke of his long, collegial association with Goldman, praising her for her leadership in the field.

Speaking to an audience of faculty, students, staff, and friends, Lawrence said: “I know you are as thrilled as I am that this chair is being endowed on our campus at this particular point in world history. We are all well aware that among college students and throughout society the demand for knowledge and sophisticated analysis of the history, economy, politics, and culture of China have become increasingly important.”

Lawrence spoke of Goldman’s extraordinary accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, writer, editor, and human rights advocate, and noted the that the chair has been endowed in the discipline she first chose as a Sarah Lawrence sophomore and has pursued with passion and brilliance ever since. She earned her PhD in History and Far Eastern Languages at Harvard in 1964. The first appointment to the Merle Rosenblatt Goldman Chair in Asian Studies will be made for the 2011-2012 academic year.