Humanities Insititute renamed for founder

During a celebration in Libbey Hall April 14, The Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Letters was renamed The Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities after its founder, Dr. Roger Ray, professor emeritus of history.

Ray founded the Institute in 1986 and led the institute for more than 20 years before he retired in 2006. It was later re-established in 2014.

“The kinds of questions addressed by RRIH events and speakers include big questions like ‘What does it mean to be human?’” said Mysoon Rizk, associate professor of history, who was named the director of the institute in February. “So students, UT staff and community that have any interest in reflecting on such questions would certainly benefit from participating in RRIH activities.”

While Ray led The Humanities Institute, it offered a monthly research seminar for senior and junior faculty, countless scholarship awards for humanities undergraduates and extensive public programming, according to a UT press release. This included a partnership with the Toledo Museum of Art, a collaboration with area high schools and a regular series of scholarly lectures, symposia and public talks on and off campus.

“Under Ray’s leadership, The Humanities Institute was granted more than $1 million, including major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ohio Humanities Council,” Rizk said in an interview with UT News. “The institute became a model for similar programs across the state, including at Ohio State University.”

Rizk said the RRIH will continue to support UT faculty in the future, as well as scholars from other institutions, engaging in the humanities from a variety of disciplines.

“For example, a future talk I am organizing will feature a speaker who is a member of the OSIRIS-REx team of scientists that recently launched a probe toward an asteroid (Bennu) considered to be a strong candidate for containing some of the earliest matter in the universe, that is, engaging in the inquiry of ‘What did we all come from?’” Rizk said.

To learn more about The Humanities Institute and see its upcoming events, visit its Facebook page.