Allegheny College Receives Gift to Endow Political Science Chair


June 23, 2016 – As part of its ongoing comprehensive fundraising campaign, Allegheny College has received a $1.5 million gift that will endow a professorship in its political science department.

The Robert G. Seddig Chair in Law and Policy has been established by the estate of Robert Bruce Dotson in honor of his daughter Betsy Dotson, Class of 1974. Ms. Dotson, a lawyer, worked for many years in the public sector after graduating from Allegheny. She was dedicated to the College’s undergraduate mission and believed in broad educational experiences. Ms. Dotson passed away at the age of 47.

“My parents saw the impact of Betsy’s Allegheny experience and wanted to make sure that others could benefit from such an experience,” said Barbara D. Davis of Arlington, Va. “My sister Betsy majored in political science. My parents understood how important the professors in the department were in motivating Betsy to choose a career in public service.”

Mr. Dotson died in 2014, and his wife, Paula Haas Dotson, died in 2015. They had previously endowed the Betsy Dotson ’74 Experiential Learning Fund that continues to help students studying and serving internships in government agencies and businesses in Washington, D.C.

“Allegheny is able to remain among the top liberal arts colleges in the country because it has such strong support from alumni and their families, faculty and friends,” President James H. Mullen, Jr. said. “We are deeply grateful to the Dotson family members for recognizing and honoring the quality of the Allegheny experience.”

The political science chair has been named for Robert Seddig, who retired in 2012 after teaching at Allegheny for 45 years. “I am honored to have the chair established in my name because Allegheny has always had an excellent political science department – a department of national stature and recognition. It enjoys a long history of teaching excellence, especially in law and public policy. I am assured that the department will continue to thrive and enrich the intellectual lives of our students,” Seddig said.

Betsy Dotson had studied political science with Professor Seddig.

Professor Brian Harward, who also is the director of the Center for Political Participation at the College, is the first faculty member to hold the Robert G. Seddig Chair in Law and Policy.

“It means a great deal to me to be a recipient of the Seddig Endowed Chair,” Harward said. “It’s really such a fitting tribute to Bob Seddig’s deep commitment to his students, the College, and the discipline. He’s been a wonderful teacher and mentor for so many of us, I can appreciate fully why the Dotson family chose to honor Bob and Allegheny in this way. I’m grateful for their trust and confidence.”

The gift provided by the Dotson family is part of the College’s $200 million comprehensive campaign, Our Allegheny: Our Third Century Quest, which has among its goals increasing its endowment for student scholarships and adding endowed professorships. As of June 2016, the campaign had raised $132.7 million.

About Allegheny College
Allegheny College is a national liberal arts college where 2,100 students with unusual combinations of interests and talents develop highly valued abilities to explore critical issues from multiple perspectives. A selective residential college in Meadville, Pa., Allegheny is one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope’s Colleges That Change Lives. One of the nation’s oldest liberal arts colleges, Allegheny celebrated its bicentennial in 2015.

Photo Credit: Bill Owen

Source: Academics, Publications & Research