What Collaboration Can Build

Yesterday, Philadelphia University announced a collaboration with the University of Pittsburg to preserve and manage the archives of Senator Arlen Specter.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that, when presented with the opportunity to house the Specter papers, PhilaU was honored and worked with the Senator to create the Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy at Philadelphia University.

We are an institution focused on collaboration – in our classrooms, among our programs, and now, in this historic venture. We also believe that the responsibility of professionals is to be acutely aware of the history and dynamics of the socio-economic and political environments in which they operate. Creating professional leaders for the 21st Century requires a knowledge of our collective past. To ensure that people from across the state and around the world are able to access the depth of information and history found in the Specter collection, PhilaU sought to collaborate with another Pennsylvania institution that has even broader capability to digititize the high volume of historically significant materials.

The product of this collaboration is exciting. The Center is dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of political science, government and history through research, educational programming and exhibits inspired by Senator Specter’s career and told through the permanent collection of his historic papers.

The first exhibit of this work, set to open this October, surrounds the Senator’s significant contributions to the Warren Commission and will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

Collaboration – between a public and private institution, across the state from one another – has made the curating of this collection possible. Just as importantly though, are the individual donations from friends of Philadelphia University and the Senator, who have raised well over half of the five million dollars needed to complete this project.

For them, we are grateful.

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