Humanities Institute to be named in honor of founder

April 12, 2017 | Arts, Events, News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Staff

The Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Letters will be renamed during a program Friday, April 14, at 4 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

Founded in 1986 under the directorship of Dr. Roger Ray, professor emeritus of history, and re-established in 2014, it will be named the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities.


UT President Sharon L. Gaber will speak at the ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Tom Barden, professor emeritus of English, also will talk at the dedication.

For more than 20 years, Ray led the Humanities Institute, offering a monthly research seminar for senior and junior faculty, countless scholarship awards for humanities undergraduates, and extensive public programming. This included a long and vital partnership with the Toledo Museum of Art; a collaboration with many area high schools; and a regular series of scholarly lectures, symposia and public talks on and off campus. He retired from the University in 2006.

“Under Ray’s leadership, the Humanities Institute was granted more than $1 million, including major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ohio Humanities Council,” said Dr. Mysoon Rizk, associate professor of art history, who was named the director of the institute in February. “The institute became a model for similar programs across the state, including at Ohio State University.”

After the naming ceremony, Rizk said there will be two short presentations to keep with the institute’s public humanities mission.

Dr. Richard Putney, professor emeritus of art history, will give a talk on “The Monuments of Gettysburg: Politics and Culture.” And Dr. Jason Jordan, visiting assistant professor of history, will discuss “‘A Very Worthy Negro’: Tom Lee and the Racial Politics of Jim Crow Memphis.”

For more information on the free, public ceremony and the presentations, contact Rizk at

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