The Dr. Charles C. Price Memorial Fund

The Dr. Charles C. Price Memorial Fund for East-Central European Studie fund has been generously created by Dr. Thomas J. Bardos (Ph.D. ‘49) and Dr. Peter W. Forgach (B.S. ’68) in memory of Dr. Charles C. Price, former chair of the Department of Chemistry at Notre Dame, an inspirational teacher, and a life-long internationalist and peace activist. It is meant to support future generations of Notre Dame students who are interested in studying the history, culture, and politics of East-Central Europe. This region was subject to continuing conflict and rule by brutal dictatorships throughout the 20th century. By exposing students to this often neglected part of Europe, the goal of this fund is to stimulate and support historically-informed, concrete, and creative ways to promote harmony and prosperity in the region. In this way, they may grow to emulate the spirit of the great Hungarian statesman, Louis Kossuth, whose proposal for a “Danubian confederation” in the 19th century could have averted the region’s later tragedies. The donors hope that some of the students who benefit from this funding will consider diplomatic careers in support of the future needs and interests of this region.

The fund is administered by the Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies on a discretionary basis to support students wishing to immerse themselves in diverse aspects of the history, politics, societies, and cultures of East-Central Europe. Because student interest in the region varies from year to year, the Director seeks to identify those activities that have the greatest likelihood to serve the above objectives, especially those that will engender long-term interest in these countries’ future.

The invaluable consequence of supporting these types of activities, and many others, is that they all contribute to recapturing the spirit of that well-informed, post-World War II generation of American statesmen and scholars who cared deeply about their country’s historical and cultural ties with the European continent, and especially about the fate of those smaller nations of East-Central Europe who suffered for so long under the totalitarian yoke of Nazism and Communism. The mission is particularly important at Notre Dame since many students’ grandparents and even parents can be counted among the millions of Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Czech émigrés to the United States over the 20th century. By piquing these students’ curiosity about their roots and increasing the awareness of the student-body as a whole, this initiative is meant to generate and reinforce a lasting appreciation on the Notre Dame campus for the region and its peoples.

Dr. Charles C. Price believed that international peace and prosperity could only be ensured if peoples of different backgrounds and nationalities were brought together to learn more about each other, to become acquainted with each others’ distinctive national and cultural identities, and to commit themselves to cooperative ways of resolving problems. By promoting a sustained interest and familiarity with the East-Central European region among Notre Dame’s students, the Dr. Charles C. Price Memorial Fund for East-Central European Studies makes a major contribution to fulfilling these goals.