SHASS announces the new Cynthia L. Reed Chair in French Studies and Language

Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), has announced the establishment of the Cynthia L. Reed Chair in French Studies and Languages. The new chair was made possible by a gift from Cynthia L. Reed and her husband, John S. Reed ’61, former chairman of the MIT Corporation, in continuation of their long-standing support of French at the Institute.

Visionary support for French Studies at MIT

“This wonderful gift from Cynthia and John Reed will have a profound impact on the French program of MIT SHASS,” Fitzgerald said. “First, it will ensure that the School’s commitment to educating MIT students in French language and culture will continue into the future. And second, it will galvanize a new generation of French scholars to create innovative research projects that expand and perhaps even challenge existing traditions within French studies.”

Associate Professor Bruno Perreau, a rising star in the field of French studies, gender, and national identity, will be the inaugural holder of the Reed Chair, Fitzgerald said.

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Pont Alexandre III, Paris

“Studying French and spending a year abroad was a turning point in my life. While John was teaching at Sloan I took a French class with Gilberte Furstenberg. It was there I discovered that so many MIT students, from all academic disciplines, were studying foreign languages and cultures. We are hopeful that this support will enable others to have the same experience that I did.”

— Cynthia L. Reed