University of Minnesota
Immigration History Research Center

Immigration History Research Center's home page.

News Release Mar. 9, 2004

Joel Wurl, Immigration History Research Center, (612) 625-4800,

National Campaign to Preserve Immigrant Heritage Is Halfway There!

The University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) has concluded a banner year in its capital campaign, “Stories Worth Remembering: Stories Worth Telling.” Gifts totaling $1,875,000 have been received since the beginning of the campaign in the form of cash, pledges, and bequests for the purpose of preserving America’s immigrant heritage.

The endowment has also earned $300,000 in matching funds from a Challenge Grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). To receive the balance of the $500,000 grant, the Center must raise an additional $1,200,000 between now and July 2005.

The goals of the endowment are to establish the IHRC directorship and endowed chair in immigration history research in the Department of History; to enhance archival services through curatorships and fellowships; to expand programs for ethnic communities; and to promote scholarship in immigration history.

Notable gifts received in 2003 include many individual donations as well as: $150,000 from Estonian Archives in the U.S., Inc. to establish a graduate fellowship in Estonian American Studies $90,000 from the Order Sons of Italy in America toward an endowed curatorship in Italian American Studies $50,000 from the American Latvian Association toward the establishment of a graduate fellowship, with an additional $21,000 pledged by the American Latvian Youth Association, Latvian Welfare Association, and World Federation of Free Latvians $40,000 combined from the Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation and Governor and Mrs. Andersen personally $25,000 from the Francis Maria Foundation for Justice and Peace in Warner, NH, toward a graduate fellowship in Arab American studies $25,000 from the UNICO Foundation and $10,000 from the Twin Cities chapter of UNICO National for a graduate fellowship in Italian American Studies $10,000 from the Heritage Foundation of the First Security Federal Savings Bank, Chicago, for the Ukrainian American Studies Fund.

“We deeply appreciate the help of our friends who so generously support the work of the Center,” said IHRC Director Rudolph J. Vecoli, adding, “We’ve come a long way together; I invite you to help us to reach home.”

To find out more about the IHRC’s programs and fundraising, visit its website at, or write or call: IHRC, 311 Andersen Library, 222-21st Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55455, phone 612-625-4800, email

Established in 1965, the IHRC is an international leader in the study of migration and ethnicity. In addition to its unique library and archives, it offers publications, conferences, lectures, and exhibits. Of particular note, its outreach programs provide resources for K-12 teaching, family and community history, and ethnic group activities.

IHRC Mission Statement

The IHRC enriches society by preserving and promoting understanding of the history of the American immigrant experience. In doing so, it acts in partnership with various ethnic communities, historical agencies, research specialists, educators, and many others. It develops and maintains a library and archival collection, provides research assistance, produces publications, and sponsors academic and public programs. Its work supports the tripartite mission—teaching, research, and service—of its parent institution, the University of Minnesota.