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Greenwich Man Gives $2 Million to UConn Human Rights Institute

Gary Gladstein, a 1966 graduate of the University of Connecticut and a Greenwich resident.
Gary Gladstein, a 1966 graduate of the University of Connecticut and a Greenwich resident. Photo Credit: University of Connecticut

GREENWICH, Conn. -- UConn alumnus Gary Gladstein of Greenwich with his wife, Dr. Phyllis Gladstein, and philanthropist George Soros announced a $4 million gift to the UConn Human Rights Institute, the largest donation to the internationally renowned program.

The gift, which requires the UConn Foundation to raise an additional $2 million in matching funds, would give the Institute a $6 million endowment and provide scholarships to undergraduates majoring in human rights.

Gladstein, who has been the Institute’s primary benefactor, is giving the Institute a gift of $2 million. He said he was pleased to partner with friend Soros on this vital issue of human rights.

“All civilizations must learn to share and respect the human rights of others,” Gladstein said. “The true differences around the world are not between different religions or races, but more about those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it. We can all do much better when we work together.”

“The vision and generosity of our donors continues to make an incredible impact on this program and is helping to make UConn a global leader in human rights education and scholarship,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “We could not be more grateful to both Gary Gladstein and George Soros for their support and commitment to our university and the field of human rights.”

Soros, a businessman, philanthropist and political activist, has pledged to give a $2 million challenge grant.

“I was a child in Hungary when the Nazis invaded. I then lived under Soviet rule, so I know what it is like to live under brutal regimes that deprive people of their basic human rights,” Soros said. “I am pleased to support UConn’s critical work in researching and promoting human rights. I am glad to partner with Gary to help build UConn’s program.”

The Institute, with its interdisciplinary focus, is one of the top human-rights programs in higher education worldwide. Faculty members are drawn from most schools and colleges across the university, including anthropology, political science, business and law.

It has the largest number of undergraduates studying human rights in the U.S. with 80 students majoring and 55 minoring in human rights.

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