Iranian Culture Studies fund set up at UC Berkeley with bequest valued at $2.5 million

By Jose Rodriguez, University Relations

BERKELEY-- A fund to study Iran, a remarkable civilization at the crossroads of Asia that is little understood in the United States, will be established at the University of California, Berkeley, following a bequest of property estimated at $2.5 million in value.

The bequest, by an anonymous donor, comprises several components. It includes:

· the Guitty Azarpay Fellowship;

· the Guitty Azarpay Visiting Professorship;

· library materials on ancient Iran;

· a Berkeley-Iran exchange program for graduate and post-doctoral students as well as for faculty members;

· conferences and symposia on Iranian and Silk Road art and archaeology; and

· publications on Iranian art and archaeology.

The fellowship and visiting professorship are named in honor of Near Eastern Studies Professor Emerita Guitty Azarpay, a leading scholar of Near Eastern art. It will be managed by UC Berkeley's Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, two of the nation's most prestigious programs in this area.

The fund will help promote UC Berkeley's stature as a world center of Near Eastern and Middle Eastern studies.

UC Berkeley is in the midst of a $1.1-billion fundraising effort - the Campaign for the New Century - that seeks to reach its goal by 2001.

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