Polish Literature Chair at the University of Chicago

In 1961, the University of Chicago was one of only five American universities to rank among the best in the world, yet it was the only one without a Slavic Studies program. This was especially problematic as Chicago was home to more Poles than any city outside of the Polish capital of Warsaw.

Two months after the University began a Slavic Department, the Legion of Young Polish Women made a donation to ensure that Polish Studies would be an integral part of the department. An initial gift of $4,500 was presented on September 6, 1961, to establish a professorship in Polish Literature—the first of its kind in the Midwest. Today, the University of Chicago is one of the leading institutions for Slavic and Polish Studies.