An exciting and appropriate opportunity as the center’s 50th Anniversary approaches in 2015 is to endow the naming of the Center for Peace & Conflict Studies or its initiatives. Other key peace studies programs around the country are now named for notable patrons, public officials or scholars. These include the two centers sponsored by Joan Kroc and her family at Notre Dame University and the University of San Diego.

Already with the Saperstein Fund sponsorship a prospect has emerged for one or more named permanent operational endowments, if partners are identified to team with the Sapersteins.

Michigan has had its share of important peace advocates, including former Senator Philip Hart who presided at the Center’s dedication in 1965, former Governor G. Mennen Williams who became Undersecretary of State for African Affairs, and distinguished Congressional representatives who have collaborated with the Center such as Howard Wolpe, John Conyers, Carl and Sander Levin, David Bonior, as well as key private citizens ranging from Thomas Gumbleton, Otto Feinstein, Leonard Grossman and Rudy Simons to Millie Jeffrey and Lillian Genser. It would be fitting to honor Michigan peacemakers by making it possible for CPCS to remain a permanent institution.

The university’s regulations allow naming of centers or institutes for a gift of at least $2 million, with income from the endowment available annually to fund basic operations and programs. Judging by the national and international notoriety of named peace and conflict resolution centers, these are lasting investments in moving the planet toward the non-violent settlement of disputes.

If you have suggestions or approaches to fulfilling this goal in the coming year, we would be delighted to hear and discuss them further.  For more information, please contact CPCS Director, Dr. Frederic Pearson.

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