The Brady Jensen Latin American Studies Endowment Established

Jensen at Machu Picchu
Brady Jensen ’84 (right) and his partner, Mario Cristancho, at Machu Picchu.

Brady Jensen ’84 has visited many corners of the world. Yet he believes Latin America to be the most relevant place to Whitman as the college prepares its students to interact, work and lead in today’s globally connected society.

Jensen’s personal and professional passion for broadening understanding of Latin American history and culture was the catalyst that led him to establish the Brady Jensen Latin American Studies Endowment in April 2012, boosting Whitman’s goal to infuse global themes into the curriculum and develop programs that enhance global awareness.

“I believe that global studies should begin with developing a better understanding of our own hemisphere. I had more opportunities to study the history and cultures of medieval Europe than I did contemporary Mexico, for example, yet our future is much more likely to be influenced by the latter than the former,” he said.

The Brady Jensen Latin American Studies Endowment will support the creation of experiential learning opportunities in Latin America, such as faculty-led, field-based studies and student-faculty research projects. The endowment will also help to bring speakers to Whitman and set up educational programs. It is hoped that student-faculty research conducted with the support of this endowment will be presented on campus at the Undergraduate Conference or in another public forum.

Jensen earned a degree in history from Whitman in 1984, minoring in English and economics. He went on to earn a certificate in employee benefits from The Wharton School, which led to work with Arthur Anderson, Deloitte Consulting, the state of Washington, Microsoft and Towers Watson. Post-graduate coursework in Latin American studies furthered his personal interest in the region, particularly in history, literature and art.

Whitman professors understand that in this era of rapid globalization it is even more essential that courses of study address historical and contemporary interconnections to enable Whitman students – future humanitarians, teachers, diplomats and business people – to interact effectively and meaningfully with people from all corners of the world.

“Creation of this endowment ensures that Latin America will secure a central place in our effort to introduce global perspectives throughout the Whitman curriculum,” said Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of the faculty.

The Brady Jensen Latin American Studies Endowment strengthens Whitman’s burgeoning Global Studies Program and further contributes to the success of Whitman’s academic program, helping prepare students for global citizenship and positions of leadership in an increasingly competitive and interconnected world.