A $500,000 donation from alumnus Steven Schochet established the University’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies center on July 1.
Staff at the center, which is located on the East Bank, will work as liaisons between GLBT studies and other departments and colleges.
“(The donation) makes the center a reality,” said Linnea Stenson, program director of the center. “We have now office space (and) a budget. We became a real entity within the University.”
Schochet attended the University in the 1950s. As a gay man, he faced many barriers. More than 40 years after his graduation, Schochet, who has been successful in the computer software industry, returned to the University to donate $500,000 to establish the Steven J. Schochet Center for GLBT Studies.
“It was a gift that was also a challenge,” Stenson said. “It was a gift that would also challenge the University to be a better place, and the way he found to do that was to endow this GLBT center.”
The University’s GLBT center is the first in the Midwest and the third in the nation. It will house, in conjunction with the University Libraries, a large collection of GLBT books, photos, diaries, buttons and other GLBT resources. The collection has more than 10,000 items and is worth between $400,000 and $500,000.
The University’s new GLBT center is unique, Stenson said, because it is based on the belief that the production of knowledge could ultimately lead to social change.
Fabiana Torreao welcomes comments at [email protected]