Ertegun Programme inaugurated with opening of Ertegun House | University of Oxford

Ertegun Programme inaugurated with opening of Ertegun House

Sixteen world-class graduate humanities students benefit from fully funded scholarships and a dedicated study centre in the heart of Oxford.

The largest donation for humanities study in Oxford University’s 900-year history has enabled sixteen Ertegun Scholars to begin fully funded graduate work at the University and to commence their use of Ertegun House, a freshly refurbished and modernized Georgian building dedicated in perpetuity to study and research by the Ertegun Scholars.

The Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities is funded through the generosity of Mica Ertegun, interior designer and widow of Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records.  Mrs Ertegun said that she wanted to provide 'enduring inspiration for brilliant and enthusiastic students from all over the world to devote themselves to the study of the humanities … My dream is that, one day, Ertegun Scholars will be leaders in every field – as historians and philosophers, as archaeologists and literary scholars, as writers and composers, as statesmen and theologians.'

Ertegun House, a four-storey building on St Giles' in the heart of Oxford, was formally opened today as a study centre for the exclusive use of the Ertegun Scholars.  Each Ertegun Scholar has a dedicated space within Ertegun House for research and writing as well as opportunities to participate in lectures, performances, and social occasions.  Ertegun Scholars also enjoy access to WiFi, the online collections of Oxford’s libraries, and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.

Ertegun Scholars are being mentored by the full-time Director of the Ertegun Programme, Dr Bryan Ward-Perkins, the Oxford historian and archaeologist renowned for his book The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization.  Working in tandem with an advisory body known as the Board of Ertegun Overseers, Professor Ward-Perkins is charged with designing a programme of events at Ertegun House focused on the Ertegun Scholars’ areas of academic interest.

Oxford University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, has announced Oxford will complement Mrs Ertegun's generous support with an additional five Ertegun Scholarships in 2013-14 and 2014-15.  The programme is slated to grow to at least 35 Ertegun Scholars and to last in perpetuity. 

'The Ertegun Programme supports Oxford University’s commitment to providing financial support that allows the brightest graduates to study at the University, whatever their personal circumstances,' Professor Hamilton said. 'The University is pleased to provide additional studentships and augment Mrs Ertegun’s extraordinary philanthropy. We are excited to be welcoming the inaugural class of Ertegun Scholars to the University of Oxford.'

In keeping with Mrs Ertegun’s vision of a truly global and interdisciplinary initiative to advance excellence in the study of the humanities, the first group of Ertegun Scholars is a diverse group, with students from the UK, the USA, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium and India. The subjects they will study include Medieval and Modern Languages, English, Oriental Studies, Greek/Latin Language and Literature, Theology, Philosophy, Music (musicology), Modern South Asian studies, History of Art and Visual Culture, and Egyptology. Some are pursuing master’s degrees and others doctorates.