(Established in 1983, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Petrie, this endowed professorship allows New York University to bring to campus each year an eminent scholar of the history and culture of modern Spain.)
His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain visited New York University for the first time in December, 1983. On that occasion, John Brademas, then-President of the University, gave the King a doctorate honoris causa in recognition of the enormous contributions His Majesty has made in the causes of democracy and education. During the Ceremony, Brademas announced the creation of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization. As a result of the visit of His Majesty Juan Carlos I in 1983, conversations about the creation of a center for Spanish studies at New York University also were initiated.
The Chair facilitates the exposure of NYU departments and students to other facets of Spain beyond those traditionally present at the University level. Since 1985, this endowed professorship has allowed NYU to bring to campus each year an eminent specialist in the history, politics, economics, or culture of Spain, to offer courses and lectures, and to carry out their own research. It is an intrinsic part of the Center’s mission to integrate the discussion of Spain in fields in which it historically has been marginalized, such as economics, philosophy, and politics. It also brings together scholars of Spain from around the world.
A committee of NYU professors of Hispanic Studies meets each year to evaluate the candidates for the Chair, and to select a Chairholder. In addition to their teaching and research activities, Chairholders participate actively in programming many of the Center’s public events.
“I give thanks in the name of Spain. While it is true that this university has founded the Chair in my name, I am entirely conscious of what the Chair means for my country, for the community of Hispanic nations, and for all Spanish speakers in this hemisphere and on other continents.”
-H.M. Juan Carlos I of Spain