Date: October 27, 1999
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-5385
Montgomery College Dedicates New
Paul Peck Humanities Institute

(Rockville, Maryland) – Montgomery College today celebrated the dedication of the new Paul Peck Humanities Institute, an arm of the College aimed at advancing the learning and teaching of the humanities, both within Montgomery College and in the larger community.

In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Paul Peck Humanities Institute serves three primary groups: students, faculty and the community. Through this effort – unique nationally among community colleges – students serve as Smithsonian interns, faculty members serve as Smithsonian fellows and the greater college community is invited to participate in Smithsonian-sponsored events and activities.

The Paul Peck Humanities Institute also offers a variety of programs that celebrate the humanities and examine issues of intellectual, cultural and public concern. These include the College’s annual Chautaqua Festival, the Montgomery Book Festival, a Civil Rights Lecture Series, book chats, Holocaust commemorations, and symposia on public policy topics.

"We’re very proud of the many contributions of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute," said Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, Montgomery College President. "Already, the success of the Institute’s programs has indelibly changed the lives of Montgomery College students and faculty, and the public has benefited from the many stimulating programs it sponsors."

"Why should we treasure the humanities and support the Humanities Institute?," asked Dr. Myrna Goldenberg, Director of the Institute. "Because we want to continue to give our faculty and interns the extraordinary experiences that enrich all of us, as individuals, members of the MC family, and as citizens in the County, the state, and the nation. And, because we can’t be a free, wise, tolerant, nurturing, opportunity-rich community without the humanities."

The Paul Peck Humanities Institute was funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant and through a $1.3 million private gift from Paul Peck, the largest such donation ever to a Maryland community college. Peck, a McLean, Virginia, computer systems engineer and private investor, said, "This institute offers deserving students a broader look at the world. It gives them hope and demonstrates that the education community cares."

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