By Alex Bush

CAMBRIDGE, MA, June 4, 2009 ( – Harvard University has received an endowment worth $1.5 million to fund a “gender and sexuality” professorship from the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus, reports the Harvard Gazette. The new professorship has been named the F.O. Matthiessan Visiting Professorship of Gender and Sexuality.

Named after F.O. Matthiessan, who was a homosexual literary critic and faculty member at Harvard, this is the first endowed named chair in so-called “LGBT studies.”

Mitchell L. Adams, who oversees the Gay and Lesbian Caucus, said that the formation of a new chair is “an extraordinary moment in Harvard’s history and in the history of this rapidly emerging field.” He continued, “And because of Harvard’s leadership in academia and the world, this gift will foster continued progress toward a more inclusive society.”

The professorship will allow the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to invite lecturers to teach on homosexual topics for a semester at a time.

Harvard President Drew Faust thanked the Gay and Lesbian Caucus for supporting the new professorship, calling LGBT “studies” a “burgeoning area of scholarship.”


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