The Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation, established by the late Robert David Lion Gardiner ’34CC, has donated $3 million to the Columbia University Faculty of Arts and Sciences to establish the Robert Gardiner–Kenneth T. Jackson Professorship in the history department. The new chair, named after Kenneth T. Jackson, the Jacques Barzun Professor of History and the Social Sciences, will be used to support the teaching of New York history. The total endowment amounts to $4 million, when combined with a preexisting $1 million fund.
“Having dedicated my entire professional life to the study of cities and, in particular, New York, it is a singular honor to have this chair established in my name, and to share it with Robert Gardiner, another proud New Yorker — and Columbian,” says Jackson, who directs the Herbert H. Lehman Center for the Study of American History.
Jackson, who has taught at Columbia for nearly fifty years, is the author of several notable books on American history, including Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States and The Encyclopedia of New York City. He is also well-known for his creative teaching methods, which include leading a midnight bike ride from Morningside Heights to Brooklyn, during which he introduces students to famous city landmarks.
“This gift ensures that our mission — fostering the appreciation of New York history — will continue to thrive at the university that calls New York home,” said Joseph R. Attonito ’66LAW, president of the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation.