Brittans Support the Wallace Stegner Chair in Western American Studies
November 10, 2010 -- By Justin Davis, Director of Development, College of Letters & Science
Gordon “Corky” Brittan, who retired in 2008 after teaching philosophy at MSU for 35 years, will do whatever he can to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the American West. A recent commitment by Brittan and his wife, Vanessa, has completed the funding for the Wallace Stegner Chair in Western American Studies. Brittan has been involved in the Stegner chair since its inception in 1991, and has been instrumental in attracting funding and support to make the chair a reality. Wallace Stegner, who died in 1992, is considered one of the most important writers, historians and conservationists of the West.
“The chair is meant to focus attention on the historical, philosophical and literary dimensions of the land-use problems the West faces,” Brittan said. “Stegner told me that the biggest land-use issues are ahead of us, not behind us. And I believe that’s true.” The most recent chair was internationally known natural science writer David Quammen.
In addition to the Stegner chair, the Brittan’s contributions have supported the Stegner Lecture Series, which brings some of the world’s foremost thinkers and researchers to Bozeman, including figures such as Jane Goodall.