- Associated Press - Friday, January 23, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The University of Notre Dame plans to create its first endowed professorship in Islamic studies.

The position is being established with a $3 million gift from alumna Susan Scribner Mirza of Greenwich, Connecticut. It also will be the first endowed chair in Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, the first new school or college at the university since 1921.

The Rev. John Jenkins, president of the university, says it’s critical to understand Islam to find ways in which religion can bind rather than divide the global community.

Mirza made the gift in honor of her late husband, Muzzafar “Muzzi” Mirza. She says she was raised Catholic and her life was enriched when she married an immigrant from Pakistan and learned about the Islamic faith of his family.

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