ORANGE — Chapman University has received a $250,000 gift from the Henry Salvatori Foundation that it will use to establish an endowed chair in American civilization.
The new chair will be called the Henry Salvatori Professorship in American Values and Traditions. Jim Miller, a professor of English, American history and comparative literature, will be the first holder of the endowed chair.
Miller has taught at Chapman for 39 years. In addition to the professorship, the gift will fund lecturers selected by Miller to speak at the university.
"There seems to be a breakdown in the American family. Why is this happening?" Miller said. "Why do we have so many one-parent families? Why is this crisis going on in Orange County? Is this the result of greed? Somewhere along the way we must have missed the train because things shouldn't be as they are now."
Miller, an Orange resident, addresses these issues and others in his popular course on American values called "Faith, Fear and Folly."
Salvatori, 93, a retired geophysicist who emigrated from Italy as a child, created his foundation to preserve and revitalize America's principles.
"This is something Chapman needs," Miller said, "in the sense that it sparks an opportunity to pull together and focus on American values. We'll examine how these values have lit the torch of liberty for the world and have fit into American history."