Shirley Sutton Thomas, a University of Utah department of English alumna, has endowed her former department with a $1 million presidential chair.
"An endowed chair in English is unprecedented at the University of Utah," explained English Department Chairman Brooke Hopkins. "It recognizes that the humanities need as much support as the sciences."Thomas has left the department maximum flexibility in choosing to fill the chair, specifying only that appointments go where they will be of most value. She has asked that the endowment be used to hire a faculty member who will enhance both undergraduate and graduate studies.
"It gives me great pleasure to be able to make this new position possible, and I hope my gift will encourage others to contribute as well," Thomas said. "The humanities and faculty support are so important to the university."