$3 million gift funds study of cultural impact of gay individuals

Michael Pulman and Eric Lindstrom wanted to make an impact on the study of human sexuality in ways not possible in decades past. Now, through a gift of $3 million, they are making that difference at the University of Denver.

With their gift, the couple is creating an interdisciplinary chair — an endowment — in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences to focus on human sexuality: in particular, the cultural impact of homosexual individuals. As Pulman and Lindstrom say, many contributions by homosexual individuals throughout history have, until recently, gone unrecognized.

The chair will reside in any department in the college, and the academic’s work could involve research and studies in history, arts, literatures, and many other connected fields in the humanities and social sciences.

“We believe our investment in DU will provide the platform for studying artists and others, living and dead, whose sexuality has been central to their driving force and their path to achievement for the betterment of humanity,” the couple says.

The two have enjoyed longstanding and meaningful connections to DU: Pulman was a professor of history at DU from 1971 to 1991 — an experience he counts among the greatest in his life — and Lindstrom has a three-year association with the Lamont School of Music through his avocation as a jazz musician.

“This gift is important not only academically; it also helps us advance the cultural environment at DU as our community engages more and more intentionally in conversations around gender and sexuality, as well other issues of identity,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “Our conversations are enriched when we can view the experiences of ourselves and others through the lenses of history and science and other subjects. This gift will have a lasting impact on DU.”

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