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Peace Studies Program celebrates opening of Castleberry Peace Institute

Remarks by UNT Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Warren Burggren; Michael Montecino, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; David Mason, director of the new institute; and Vivian Castleberry will follow at 6:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The institute is housed in the UNT Department of Political Science and was founded in collaboration with Peacemakers Incorporated, an organization Castleberry created in 1987. The institute serves the university by combining parts of UNT's Peace Studies Program and Peacemakers. 

Mason said the central mission of the Castleberry Peace Institute will be to identify through research the conditions that promote the development of stable and prosperous democracies that respect human rights and to educate students and the general public about the politics of peace building.

Castleberry, for whom the institute is named, was a founder of the Women's Center in Dallas and the Family Place, the first women's shelter established in Dallas. Her organization, Peacemakers, sponsored its first international women's conference in 1988. In 1984, she was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame and recently was named one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews, an Internet-based news service.

The Peace Studies Program at UNT began in 1998 with the creation of the Johnie Christian Family Professorship of Peace Studies and is funded with a $375,000 endowment from the estate of Denton resident and peace activist Johnie Christian. It is the only peace studies program at a four-year university in the southwest, and the establishment of the institute gives UNT the only research center on peace studies in the region.

This story was first publlocated as a UNT News Services news release and can be found at