Foreign Policy Seminar Series Celebrates 30 Years

The Foreign Policy Seminar Series here at the University of Connecticut has established a long, successful history of more than 30 years.

“This series puts UConn on the map for foreign policy education, which is something nice to have other than basketball,” said Prof. Frank Costigliola, who has been running the series since 1997.

Authors, professors, diplomats, historians, and political scientists come from around the country to speak here in Storrs, mostly to graduate students and faculty.

“Through having all these distinguished speakers travel to us has made UConn a regional foreign relation hub,” said Costigliola, who attended the first seminar in 1985 while he was a professor at the University of Rhode Island.

The purpose of these seminars is for history graduate students to build connections with professional members in the field, but also provides book authors an opportunity for feedback from the attending audience.

“Intellectual life needs to always circulate with new perspectives on history, and I believe we have a successful formula for doing so – a quality experience that’s easy to understand and gets great feedback,” said Costigliola.

Thomas G. Patterson, Costigliola’s predecessor, first started the lecture series by bringing in Arnold A. Offner to speak on Vice President Hubert Humphrey and ever since then the series has continued to be successful.

For the 30th anniversary in November, Costigliola invited Offner back to discuss Harry Truman’s foreign policy with the students, which went over very well.

Gwendolyn Hay, a history graduate student who regularly attends the seminars, greatly appreciates the opportunity to learn from such distinguished figures.

“Going to the lectures has been my favorite part of the graduate experience because there is so much to learn from these individuals,” said Hay.