Dr. Kurt C. Schlichting first to be installed as E. Gerald Corrigan Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences


Dr. Kurt C. Schlichting, professor of sociology and anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, will be installed as the first holder of the E. Gerald Corrigan Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Fairfield University on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m., in the lower level of the John A. Barone Campus Center. The public is welcome to attend.

Dr. Schlichting will deliver an address entitled, "Parallel Histories: Fairfield's Early Years,  Change & Growth, A Lasting Commitment," in which he will use his own professional life and that of Dr. Corrigan's to illustrate Fairfield University's rise to prominence and its commitment to continued engagement with the larger community. "The Fairfield experience," Dr. Schlichting said, "instills confidence and teaches competence. Fairfield University encourages students to work with faculty, to share expertise, and to serve others."

Known in the region and beyond for his social and political surveys and his work in integrating geographic information systems (GIS) in education, Dr. Schlichting, a 1970 graduate of Fairfield, plans to use his position as holder of the Corrigan Chair to involve students in research projects with the wider community. "I hope I can be a mentor to them as my teachers and colleagues were to me when I was a student here at Fairfield," he said.

The establishment of the Corrigan Chair at Fairfield was announced in June, along with the public disclosure of a $5 million gift from Fairfield University alumnus and trustee, E. Gerald Corrigan, Ph.D., managing director of Goldman Sachs. The gift also made possible the establishment of the E. Gerald Corrigan Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., president of Fairfield University, said, the upcoming ceremony has special significance for the university because it involves two alumni, "who through their very distinguished careers and generosity, are committed to contributing significantly to the education of our present and future students."

Throughout his career, Dr. Schlichting has distinguished himself as a researcher, author and political consultant. He has received numerous grants to support his work, including from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Archbold Charitable Trust, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE).

He is the author of "Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Architecture and Engineering in New York" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), for which he received the 2002 Best Professional/Scholarly Book: Architecture & Urbanism Award from the Association of American Publishers. He is also the author or co-author of recent scholarly articles in publications such as the "Journal of Black Studies," "American Politics Quarterly," "Journal of Urban History," and "Railroad History."

As the director of the Fairfield County Research Center, which he founded in 1987, Dr. Schlichting has involved Fairfield University faculty and students in research projects for local governments and non-profit organizations, such as the Voices of September 11th, an advocacy organization in New Canaan, Conn., that works for victims of 9/11 and preparedness; the International Institute of Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Catholic Legal Immigration Services in Washington, D.C., United Way of Eastern Fairfield County, the Jesuit Conference, and City of Leon, Nicaragua.

He served the university as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1990-1992 and was acting dean of the College from 1984 to 1985. A member of the faculty since 1974, Dr. Schlichting holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from New York University

Dr. Corrigan, a 1963 graduate of Fairfield University who earned his Ph.D. in economics from Fordham University, joined the New York Fed in 1968. He served as a Special Assistant to former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker from 1979-1980. He was then named President and CEO of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank where he served from 1980 to 1984, and then was appointed President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During his tenure with the Federal Reserve, he earned a reputation for mastering the art of financial crisis management.

Following his career at the Fed, Dr. Corrigan joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 where he became a partner and managing director in 1996. At Goldman Sachs, his duties, among others, include serving as co-chair of the Firmwide Risk Management Committee and vice chair of the Firmwide Business Practices Committee as well as providing advice to the firm and its clients on a wide range of business and strategic issues.

In presenting the gift to the University, Dr. Corrigan said, "I have every expectation that Fairfield University will continue to flourish in the future while maintaining its tradition of excellence and its service to the community, especially to those segments of the community that have the greatest needs."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 26, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 52