Berkley Center Celebrates $5 Million Gift from Founding Donor

Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs has received a $5 million gift that will enable it to build on its groundbreaking work at the intersection of faith, ethics and contemporary global challenges.

This is the latest in a series of major gifts from the Berkley family. William R. Berkley is a longtime member of the Georgetown University Board of Directors. A leadership gift from Berkley established the center in 2006.

“We are extremely grateful to Bill Berkley for his continued generous support,” said Berkley Center Director Thomas Banchoff. “Over the past five years, the center has emerged as a global leader in interdisciplinary scholarship and an innovator in preparing students for leadership in a world marked by growing cultural and religious diversity.”

The center’s research, teaching and outreach programs explore the intersection of religion and ethics with global challenges of democracy, economic and social development, interreligious dialogue, and peace. Since 2006, the center has received major grants from the Templeton, Luce, and Ford foundations and collaborated with the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and National Defense University on events and publications.

The new gift will support further international outreach and help to consolidate and expand the center’s faculty research and teaching. In fall 2011, the center inaugurated an undergraduate certificate on Religion, Ethics and World Affairs, offered through the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. It has continued to strengthen its role in the campus-wide Doyle Engaging Difference Initiative, which supports its Junior Year Abroad Network and Undergraduate Fellows Program. The center’s evolving online Knowledge Resources provide students—as well as citizens and experts—with a deeper understanding of the intersection of religion, peace and world affairs.

“This dialogue is critical to living peacefully in a world of increasing interconnectedness but persistent difference,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “Georgetown believes the Berkley Center permits us to be a leading contributor to that dialogue.”

Read more about the Berkley Center.