Coins To Support Foundation Formed To Promote Scholarly
Exchanges Between U.S. And Iceland
21, 2000 -- Proceeds from the sales of the new U.S.
and Icelandic Leif Ericson commemorative coins will support the
Foundation at the University of Virginia, created this spring
to finance graduate-level student exchanges between both countries.
The foundation will promote the advanced study of Iceland, including
its history, culture, literature, science, law, business, medicine,
technology and other areas.
Eiríksson Foundation also is working as a partner with the
White House Millennium Commission to celebrate the 1,000th
anniversary of Leifur Eiríksson's discovery of the New
Leifur Eiríksson Foundation will provide significant resources
that will enable generations of students to explore all of the educational
opportunities that both countries hold," said Robert Kellogg,
U.Va. professor emeritus of English and chair of the foundation's
board of trustees. "The University of Virginia, its Health
System and Graduate Arts and Sciences programs are especially excited
about this endeavor, given all of the treasures the Republic of
Iceland possesses in genetics, the environment and literature."
genetics, for example, "they've done some incredible work,"
Kellogg said, explaining that researchers have compiled what is
essentially a "genetic map" of the nation's relatively
small population of around 270,000.
University of Virginia is currently expanding its efforts in the
international arena, one of four key areas in which it hopes to
improve its national standing as part of its Virginia
2020 planning initiative. The others are the fine and performing
arts, science and technology and public service.
Eiríksson Foundation is a cooperative effort of U.Va. and
the Central Bank of Iceland, and is a natural outgrowth of a number
of cordial and productive relationships between
and the students and faculty of the University over the last 50
years. Several U.Va. scholars have a direct interest in Iceland
and its heritage, beginning with President John T. Casteen III,
an authority in medieval literature, including Norse sagas. Kellogg,
an expert on medieval Icelandic literature, first studied in Iceland
in 1956, lectured frequently at the University of Iceland in Rekjavik
as a U.Va. faculty member, and this spring taught a full courseload
there. Marshall Brement, another board member and the Hugh S. and
Winifred Cumming Memorial Professor of International Affairs at
U.Va., is a well-respected former U.S. ambassador to Iceland.
third board member is Donald K. Fry, a former member of the English
faculty and a published authority in Scandinavian literature. The
Leifur Eiríksson Foundation board will have two additional
members appointed by the Central Bank of Iceland and the prime minister
of Iceland. The chair will rotate every two years between the Icelandic
and U.Va. representatives.
foundation will supplement the resources from the U.S.
Mint and the Republic of Iceland with support from private individuals
and corporations that encourage international education.
more information on the Leifur Eiríksson Foundation, contact
Patrick Ingram at (804) 924-0530.
may be sent to the Leifur Eiríksson Foundation, c/o the University
of Virginia Foundation, PO Box 400218, Charlottesville VA 22904-4218.
Exhibition on "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga"
Dan Heuchert, (804) 924-7676