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Major Gift to Endow the College of Liberal Arts Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute

News Release — 3 September 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Kristin Sullivan, (817) 272-2761, kristinsul@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington College of Liberal Arts announces a commitment from alumnus Mustaque Ahmed that establishes the Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute, which will build upon Ahmed’s previous generosity to his alma mater.

Ahmed earned his bachelor's degree in economics from UT Arlington in 1981 and founded the festival in 2005, endowing it in 2007. He is now expanding it to create a research institute that will engage a community of international experts to address pressing global issues.

“Mustaque Ahmed’s generous gift for the College of Liberal Arts’ Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute supports a vibrant and illuminating program of events for everyone on our campus and in our community,” said Beth Wright, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.  “The Institute will enhance our faculty and student research in international cultures, histories, languages, literatures, and the arts.

“We are very grateful for this support of our excellence in education, research scholarship, and creative activity.

The Festival of Ideas has offered six events each year to the university community and the community at large. The events have included lectures by scholars in history, linguistics, Middle Eastern studies, modern languages, philosophy, political science, and physics. They have featured presentations by artists and writers about their creative work and concerts and theatrical performances.

The 2009 festival theme is "Greening English Studies" and kicks off at 3 p.m. Oct. 16 with a discussion titled "The Public Life of Environmental Literature and Criticism" led by Cate Mortimer-Sandilands of York University. More details about this year's festival will be available through the College of Liberal Arts.

The Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute will not only guarantee the continuity of the Festival of Ideas events but provide 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.

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