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The Festival of Ideas began in 2005 with a generous donation by UT Arlington alumnus Mustaque Ahmed (’81). In 2007, that support grew into an endowment to further strength the program’s ability to offer six events each year to the university academic community and the community at large. These events have included lectures by scholars in History, Linguistics, Middle Eastern Studies, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, and Physics; presentations by artists and writers about their creative work; and concerts and theatrical performances.
“Mustaque Ahmed’s generous gift for the College of Liberal Arts’ Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute, as it supports a vibrant and illuminating program of events for everyone on our campus and in our community, enhances our faculty and student research in international cultures, histories, languages, literatures, and the arts,” said Dr. Beth Wright, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We are very grateful for this support of our excellence in education, research scholarship, and creative activity. ”
The Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute not only guarantees the continuity of the Festival of Ideas events but provides a venue for research into the world’s significant cultural and intellectual issues, integrating the scholarship and creative activity of UT Arlington’s faculty and graduate students with the insights gained from presentations by world-renowned experts who visit the UT Arlington campus.
The most recent Festival of Ideas event was Borders, Boundaries and Barriers: Expansive Thinking & Global Solutions held on February 3, 2017.