Polish & Polish American Studies at CCSU
Polish Studies Program
Since its inauguration in January 1974, the Polish Studies Program has served CCSU students and the broader central Connecticut community by interpreting and offering perspectives on historic developments that reshaped global politics and human rights during the fourth quarter of the 20th century: the election of Pope John Paul II in 1978, the creation of the Solidarity movement in 1980, the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989, and Poland's regained sovereignty and admission as an American ally into NATO in April 1998.
The Stanislaus A. Blejwas Endowed Chair in Polish and Polish American Studies was inaugurated in 1997 at CCSU, thanks to the generosity of Connecticut's Polish Americans and their friends and a matching grant of $600,000 from the State of Connecticut. The chair is named in honor of the late Dr. Stanislaus A. Blejwas, founder of CCSU's Polish Studies Program and the first person to be designated a CSU Professor by the Connecticut State University System. It is one of only two such chairs in the country -- the other being at Harvard. In 2002, Dr. M.B. Biskupski, an eminent Polish American scholar, was appointed to the endowed chair.
The program offers courses in history, politics, culture, literature, language, and
on the Polish American ethnic community. The Polish Heritage Collection in the University
Library, numbering over 21,000 catalogued books and periodicals, supplements course
offerings. The Connecticut Polish American Archives is a research depository for the
public, scholars and students of the Polish community in America. It is supported
in part by the Alex M. Rudewicz Endowment. Access to the Connecticut Polish American
Archives is by appointment only and further information may be obtained by calling
(860) 832-2085 or 832-2086.
The program sponsors lectures, cultural events, exhibitions, recitals and concerts, and literary evenings. Activities include the annual Fiedorczyk Lecture in Polish American Studies, the annual Milewski Lecture in Polish Studies, the biennial Godlewski Evening of Polish Culture, Koproski Lecture on Polish Business and Economy Series, and the Rudewicz Evening of Polish Music. The Martin and Sophie Grzyb Prize for Excellence in Polish Studies is awarded in recognition of student achievement and The Polish Invitational Golf Committee and Mr. Alex Federowicz have endowed scholarships for students born in Poland. Endowments by the late Monsignor John P. Wodarski and Mr. Henry Gajda underwrite publications of the Polish Studies Program. A generous donation from the Polish National Alliance and the family of Mr. Boguslaw Nowakowski to the Copernican Polish Heritage Endowment, has endowed a series of conversations about Poland. For further information, please contact Magdalena Jacques at (860) 832-3010.
Academic Minor in Polish Studies
As of Fall 2011, students may elect a Minor in Polish Studies composed of courses from several Departments. This is a major advance in the history of Polish studies at CCSU. Students interested in Poland-or Eastern Europe in general-can now supplement their major program with this focused complimentary choice. For any further information please contact the program's director, M. B. B. Biskupski.
The following scholarships administered by the CCSU Foundation are related to the Polish and Polish American Studies program. The online application period for Foundation scholarships runs from December 1 to February 1 each year. Typically, awards are determined during the spring semester for students who will be enrolled at CCSU in the following fall semester.
Kosciuszko Squadron Commemorative Exhibit
The S.A. Blejwas Chair in Polish and Polish American Studies has joined with the Kosciuszko Foundation, the New England Air Museum and the Government of the Republic of Poland to commemorate the bravery and historic service of the men who served in the famed Kosciuszko Squadron of the Polish Air Force. The centerpiece of these efforts is a permanent exhibit devoted to the Squadron at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks. The Kosciuszko Squadron Web Site serves to present historical and archival information as well as announce upcoming events and exhibits and provide a forum for all those interested in these great but nonetheless forgotten heroes of Poland.
The Stanislaus A. Blejwas Endowed Chair, which is held by the CCSU Foundation, Inc., supports all aspects of Polish Studies at the University. Anyone wishing to make a donation to support the Chair make do so online by clicking here. Additional information about supporting CCSU's Polish Studies program and its components is available from Dr. M. B. Biskupski.