- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday that it is creating a school of global affairs, the first new school or college at the university since 1921.

The Rev. John Jenkins, president of the university, said the school will seek take a different approach to global affairs.

“I think it will provide an important voice, a different voice, in the whole area of international studies,” he said. “Most international schools focus on states and individuals and politics and economics. This will try to focus on the whole person integral human development. Bringing religion, which is often so important in the world but often ignored in some studies of international relations, we’ll bring that in as well as communal and cultural elements.”

The school will offer master’s degrees in global affairs, and undergraduates who are majoring in another field will be able to get a supplemental major in international studies, Jenkins said. He said the school hopes to expand it beyond that as well.

Notre Dame decided to add the school because it recognized the importance of understanding other cultures, Jenkins said.

“The world is just becoming smaller. It’s a more global world,” he said. “We have to understand other cultures and interact with other cultures and do so in an intelligent, constructive way. We need to teach our students to do that, and also to do research and inquiry to understand how the world can live in harmony in a better way.”

The school will be named the Donald Keough School of Global Affairs after Notre Dame got donations totaling $50 million from former Coca-Cola Co. president Donald Keough and his wife, Marilyn, to build Jenkins Hall, where the school will be housed. The building is named after Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president since 2005, who called it “humbling.”

“I can’t claim to have achieved much but I’m honored to have my name on it,” he said.

The building also will house Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, and provide additional space for the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Construction will begin in the spring. The school is expected to open in August 2017.

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