A Seton Hall alum and University Regent was honored on April 4 at a reception in the arts center for bestowing an endowment for graduate students, in honor of professor Petra Chu in order to expand the museum seminars abroad program.
During the reception, Helen Lerner stated that she wanted to give students an opportunity that wasn’t available to her when she was studying for her undergraduate degree at Seton Hall from 1972-1976.
Professor Juergen Heinrichs will be the first to start utilizing the endowment during the Museum Seminar Abroad Berlin trip this May. The endowment funds will go toward a day trip to the Hamelin Museum on May 20.
Hamelin is home to the myth of the “Pied Piper.” Legend has it that the city was plagued by rats and a mysterious musician cleared the city by using a pipe to lure them toward a river. Once the city was cleared, the musician demanded compensation that he never received.
The myth states that the Pied Piper led all the children of the city to a mountain where they vanish, never to be seen again. The Hamelin Museum is dedicated to the city and the myth.
The funds from the endowment will also pay for a lunch with the team that runs the museum and behind the scenes tours that tourists wouldn’t normally experience.
Heinrichs said that he loved how Lerner could give the Museum studies program a voice and that someone was paying attention to the arts.
The arts are often sidelined but are about having a meaningful and just society that museums represent. Heinrichs also said that the arts are what are going to stay alive. The arts are all that will be left eventually.
The M.A. program has existed for 20 years. The museum seminar abroad program is what distinguishes the program from other competing programs, according to Heinrichs.
The purpose of the museum seminar abroad program is to diversify student experience, according to Heinrichs.
In years previous, the program has gone to Amsterdam, Paris, Italy and Beijing.
This program also has some of the best student job outcomes, landing students jobs at museums such as the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
“The most rewarding part of the M.A. program is that you do something that will be with you for the rest of your life,” Heinrichs said.
Rebecca White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.