The Churchill Centre and The George Washington University (GW) have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of a new Churchill Library and Center on the GW campus in the heart of Washington, D.C. The Memorandum was executed at a signing ceremony at The Churchill Centre’s headquarters in Chicago by its Chairman, Laurence S. Geller, and GW’s President, Steven Knapp.
Mr. Geller noted that “undertaking this project with The George Washington University represents a milestone in the development of The Churchill Centre and of Churchill scholarship in America. The unique place that Winston Churchill holds in modern history as an icon of leadership and the respect his memory is accorded throughout the United States have long demanded the creation of a permanent home for Churchill studies, exhibitions and programs in our nation’s capital.” President Knapp added that “GW is delighted to be able to partner with The Churchill Centre in this worthwhile project which will bring an important new element to our campus and expand our already strong programs in modern history.”
The planned $8 million facility, to be known as The National Churchill Library and Center at George Washington University, will encompass four elements: an extensive library of books and other materials by and about Churchill and his times; an endowed Chair in Churchill Studies in GW’s History Department; an endowed Directorship of the Library and Center; and customized exhibition space for permanent and travelling displays about Churchill, his life and times. The Library and Center will be housed in dedicated street level space in GW’s Gelman Library in the heart of the university campus in Washington’s West End and will present a continuing range of lectures, seminars, programs and exhibits for scholars, students and visitors.
Mr. Geller and President Knapp noted that “practically every student in America comes to Washington at least once in their school life – this facility will afford them and their teachers a unique opportunity to learn about Winston Churchill and how his lessons of leadership are applicable to the challenges facing America and the world today.” The National Churchill Library and Center will incorporate state-of-the-art digital technology to enhance its value to educators, scholars and students and will interact closely with other schools and programs at GW including the Elliott School of International Affairs, the School of Media & Public Affairs, the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Affairs and the Law School.
Planning for the Churchill Library and Center is underway with programs and facilities expected to open in stages between 2013 and 2015. The project will be developed with the collaboration and support of major Churchill institutions in the U.K. including the Churchill War Rooms and Museum, Chartwell (Churchill’s family home, operated by The National Trust) and the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, the University of Cambridge, as well as members of the Churchill family.
Further information about The Churchill Library and Center is available from Lee Pollock, Executive Director of The Churchill Centre at (312) 658-6027 or [email protected]