The Hall Family Foundation generously donated $500,000 to endow the directorship of the Hall Center for the Humanities, honoring fourteen years of unmatched growth, spearheaded by Victor Bailey, Hall Center director and Charles W. Battey Distinguished Professor of Modern British History. Bailey, lauded by Bill Hall, President of the Hall Family Foundation, Dale Seuferling, President of KU Endowment, Chuck Battey, Chair of the Hall Center’s Advisory Board, and by Chancellor Gray-Little, accepted the award on September 10. “It’s a great honor to accept Investiture as Director of the Hall Center for the Humanities. I do so, not only on my own behalf, but also on that of all future directors who will benefit from this endowment, and on behalf of KU’s humanities faculty. The new endowment is testimony to the faculty, past and present, whose engagement with, and contributions to, the Hall Center have brought it to its current stature.”
The Center’s accomplishments under Bailey’s tenure have set a high bar for other humanities centers across the world. The Hall Center has received two National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grants since 2000; organized a body of Friends whose patronage supports the mission of the Center; and developed innovative programming for the development of humanities faculty and for sharing humanities scholarship with public audiences. Most recently, the Hall Center debuted two new funding opportunities, Scholars on Site and Research Collaboratives, intended to stimulate research partnerships across disciplines and into the community.
None of this would be possible without the leadership of Bailey. Charles Battey, Chair of the Hall Center’s external advisory board, recognized Bailey’s fundraising and administrative prowess, while Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little praised his exemplary publication and teaching records.
The Hall Family Foundation, long supportive of the Center, demonstrated their appreciation of Bailey’s work and the Center’s growth with the endowment, intended to support the present and future directors. Bailey noted, “I’m deeply appreciative of the generous support the Hall Family Foundation has provided, for thirty years or more, to the Hall Center, without which the Center would not be, what I believe it has become over these years: one of the most renowned humanities centers in the country.”