MOBILE, Ala., March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of South Alabama and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians have announced the creation of a Native American studies program that will focus on the history, culture and modern life of the Tribe, along with others in the Southeast and across the United States.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Native American Studies Program will be funded, in part, by a $500,000 gift from the Escambia County, Ala., Tribe.
"We are thrilled to make this opportunity available to USA students so they will be able to further their education in Native American studies," said Buford L. Rolin, tribal chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. "The Tribal Council realizes how important quality education is, and for students to have the opportunity to learn about our history and culture at the University of South Alabama will only enhance the current studies being offered by the University."
"This gift represents a substantial investment in the preservation of Native American heritage and culture," said Dr.
Joseph F. Busta Jr.,
USA vice president for development and alumni relations. "Together we are celebrating a historic step in a relationship that will improve the community's knowledge of the important contributions the Poarch have made to this state's history and culture, and enrich the education of generations of students at
South Alabama. We are proud that the Poarch Band's tribal leaders have chosen us as partners in this important effort."
The philanthropic support will provide funding to the USA College of Arts and Sciences for an endowed professorship and program support. Among other activities, the University will:
- Offer two or more courses each year specific to Native American studies
- Renew the Native American Student Organization
- Support research by providing travel scholarships and research assistantships
- Host an annual speaker in Native American studies
- Leverage existing USA resources through the Archaeology Museum and the Marx Library to promote awareness of Native American issues