By Rebecca Portnoy, Communications Manager, Concordia College
Feb. 6, 2019: On January 17, Dr. Mandana Nakhai was inaugurated into the Rev. Dr. Thomas Nelson Green Endowed Chair for the School of Humanities at Concordia College New York. Announced in September of 2018, the endowed chair is Concordia’s first and was created in honor of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Nelson Green, a revered former dean whose wisdom, scholarship, and personality made a lifetime impact on countless alumni. Generous ongoing alumni support, including a $500,000 matching grant, funds the endowment.
The inauguration was an academic event that followed a classic lecture and response format. Dr. Panayiotis (Peter) Kanelos, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis and an outspoken advocate for liberal education, spoke of the essential role the study of the humanities holds in teaching us how to live. Dr. Nakhai’s response argued for a contemporary model of humanities that reflects the rich diversity of the human experience.
Dr. Nakhai is dean of Concordia’s School of Humanities, dean of the Fellows Honors program, and Distinguished Professor of English. With expertise in college composition as well as literature and critical theory, Dr. Nakhai has taught an array of courses in the college’s English program as well as filling various administrative roles in her three decades of service to the school. She pioneered the establishment of Concordia’s Writing Center (since renamed the John Bahr Writing Center), developed the school’s Writing Across the Curriculum program, and created writing-intensive courses that have set standards recognized across higher education. Dr. Nakhai holds a BA, an MA, and a PhD from the University of Tennessee.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Nelson Green Endowed Chair for the School of Humanities at Concordia College New York will support the study of humanities within the disparate academic disciplines so that all students can engage in creative and critical thinking about the human experience across the boundaries of difference – and reimagine a vibrant world of possibilities. The School of Humanities houses the college’s Fellows Program, which is dedicated to the highest standards of excellence for academically talented students. The School of Humanities and the Fellows Program emphasize a holistic education in a diverse community of faith, where students are empowered to discover their vocations and become the people they are meant to be.
President of Concordia College New York Rev. John A. Nunes, PhD, said: “Our admired, adored, and respected Dean Nakhai possesses an amazing balance of gravity and levity. Countless Concordia students are better readers, writers, and human beings today thanks to her passions for scholarship, teaching, and mentoring. We are blessed indeed to have her at Concordia.”
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