in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has announced a $8 million gift from longtime trustee and supporter Sidney Knafel to fund four new teaching positions.
The gift will establish the Knafel Assistant Professorships in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as the Diana Chapman Walsh Assistant Professorship, to be filled at the discretion of the president of the college, for whom it is named. The gift from Knafel will cover the costs of salaries and supplemental funds for research, related equipment, and travel.
"This is such an extraordinary gift, the kind of creative philanthropy that comes out of sophisticated and appreciative knowledge of the college's strengths and long-term needs," said Wellesley president Diana Walsh. "It will further our academic excellence by helping us attract the very best junior faculty in the world, and it will be a self-renewing resource, with the chairs reopening as junior faculty move on in the ranks. I am deeply honored and touched to have my name linked to Sid Knafel's in this very special way."
Knafel, whose wife was a Wellesley graduate, is managing partner of an investment and venture capital firm. "I believe this initiative will have a dramatic, permanent impact on the already high quality of the Wellesley faculty," Knafel said. "I have immense delight in providing support for this task."