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Dodd Center celebrating 10th anniversary

by Suzanne Zack - September 7, 2005

In the 10 years since its dedication by President Bill Clinton on Oct. 10, 1995, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center has secured a place at the heart of the University’s academic and cultural life.

The Dodd Center has hosted many notable figures – from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan – and myriad conferences and special events. This fall, the Center continues that tradition, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of special events.

“The Dodd Center became a recognizable feature on campus because of its initial high-profile activities, including the dedication by President Clinton, but recurring events at the Center keep it a focal point,” says Tom Wilsted, director of the Dodd Center.

Named in honor of the late Sen. Thomas J. Dodd, the Dodd Center   has consolidated the archives, historical manuscripts, and special collections in one state-of-the-art, environmentally controlled location. It also houses the late senator’s papers, including materials relating to his role as executive trial counsel during the post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. It was this that gave rise to the Center’s focus on human rights.

In 1995, the Center and the University as a whole observed a year-long celebration of human rights.

Since then, a gift from alumnus Gary Gladstein established a visiting professorship in human rights; the University created an academic minor in human rights; and a Human Rights Institute – located in the Dodd Center – was launched, with anthropology professor Richard Wilson, as director.

Two years ago, the Dodd Center awarded the first Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights to the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Ireland for advancing the Northern Ireland peace process. This year, the award will be presented on Oct. 17.


The Center now boasts 550 new collections, designed to support the research interests of the University. Since the Center’s debut, more than 5,000 individual researchers from 35 of the 50 states have used its collections, as well as overseas researchers from the UK, South Africa, Japan, Canada, and Germany. The Center also bustles with UConn students who come to use the research materials.

The Dodd Center has built many collaborative relationships on campus. It worked with a range of programs to establish the Edwin Way Teale Lecture series on Nature and the Environment, for example, which brings environmental speakers to campus to give a public lecture. A collection of Teale’s materials is housed at the Dodd Center.

Private support has contributed to the Center’s programming. Two lecture series, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture on Human Rights and the RBS Greenwich Capital Economic Seminar series, have brought major speakers to campus each year since 1996, beginning with Frances Sejersted, chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, and Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Events to celebrate the Dodd Center’s 10th anniversary include:

  • What’s Past is Prologue: Readings from the Archival & Manuscript Collection, on Sept. 21.
  • Twenty-five Years as an Editorial Cartoonist, a lecture by Bob Englehart, political cartoonist for The Hartford Courant, on Sept. 22.
  • Opening the Door to Economic Human Rights, the RBS Greenwich Capital Economic Seminar, by internationally recognized economist and activist Hernando de Soto, on Sept. 26.
  • A Jewish Lobby at Nuremberg, 1945-46, the Raymond & Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Human Rights by Michael Marrus of the University of Toronto, on Oct. 6 at the Stamford Campus.

For more information, see http://doddcenter.uconn.edu.

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