of the Miller Center
Historian named to
Polish studies chair
Roszkowski, formerly director of the Institute of Political Studies
at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, has been named as
the first professor to hold the Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies
at the Miller Center
of Public Affairs. While at the center, he will conduct studies
on 20th-century Polish history, politics and democratic transformation.
Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies was inaugurated at the Miller
Center in October 1998, after completion of a $500,000 chair endowment
campaign. At that time, Lech Walesa, former president of the Republic
of Poland and chair of the honorary committee for the establishment
of the chair, said, "We can work together only when we know
each other. Lack of knowledge causes misunderstanding, prejudice
and conflict. ... From the time of [Gen. Casimir] Pulaski and
[Tadeusz] Kosciuszko, the contributions of Polish ethnic groups
have been part of the American cultural heritage. I believe that
the chair will keep this heritage alive." Pulaski and Kosciuszko
both fought with the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War,
and Kosciuszko was a friend of Thomas Jefferson.
Kosciuszko chair is made possible with the sponsorship of the
American Institute of Polish Culture, led by Lady Blanka A. Rosenstiel.
For the greater part of a decade, Rosenstiel worked closely with
Miller Center senior scholar Kenneth W. Thompson, then the center's
director, to organize a series of conferences, forums and small
group discussions at the Miller Center focusing on Poland and
some of the challenges facing the country as it became a democracy.
"We came to realize the similarities and differences between
Poland and other Western countries, particularly the United States.
What became clear to all of us was that Poland has a rich tradition
of constitutional government, history, culture and economic development,"
Roszkowski also has been a professor of history at the Warsaw
School of Economics. He has held research and teaching positions
at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Georgetown
University and the University of Maryland. His books include Half
a Century: World Political History After 1945 and Land
Reforms in Central Europe after World War I. He contributes
often to programs on Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and the