FSU Foundation

$1.75m Gift from FSU Professor Emeritus to ‘Forever Change’ International Affairs Program

Richard Gray - headshot older man with glasses

A $1.75 million gift from a beloved Florida State University professor emeritus will create two new graduate fellowships in the international affairs program.

Professor Emeritus Richard Gray began working at FSU in 1958 as a professor of political science. Gray was instrumental in establishing the international affairs master’s program and expanding the undergraduate program, both housed in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.

Tim Chapin, dean of COSSPP, said Gray’s gift provides an endowment fund for two new graduate fellowships, one named for Gray, the other for his parents, Laura and Harold.

“Dr. Richard Gray was a wonderful professor who dedicated his career to growing the international affairs program at FSU, and his gift will forever change the program,” Chapin said. “These prestigious graduate fellowships will help us to recruit the best master’s students from all over the country to continue to grow the program and provide undergraduates with the very best education.”

Gray described the significance of the program in a 2014 address at the 50th anniversary celebration for the program.

“We just can’t avoid world affairs. These days, everything that happens in Libya or Egypt now has an effect on what we pay for gasoline,” he said. “For instance, I think that it’s essential that universities have a broad student exposure to international matters because it’s of extreme importance. I think that FSU is well ahead in that respect [and] that the current program for international affairs is very impressive.”

He added: “I think successful people in the teaching profession learn much from their students as they teach over their careers, and I know that I have benefited a great deal by my association with some mighty fine people in the program.”