Posted January 4, 2008

Gift supports Temple’s leading role in study of diplomatic history

Tennis coach … Historian … Army veteran … University president … These are just a few of the roles played by Marvin Wachman, Temple’s sixth president, during his lifetime.


Through the course of his exemplary career, Wachman became known for his skill at diplomacy and his unique ability to forge connections and build consensus.

That’s why it seems only fitting that a $1 million gift to endow the directorship of a Temple University center devoted to the study of diplomatic history should be a legacy from Marvin Wachman, who passed away in late December.

Diplomatic history, considered “irrelevant and sterile” by many scholars at the end of the Vietnam War, has experienced a revival in recent years. Today, imaginative cross-disciplinary approaches to the field that recognize the richness and complexity of international history are becoming the norm.

At the forefront of the revitalization of both diplomatic and military history is Temple’s History Department and its Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD). Established in 1993, the center has enabled the university to play a leading role in this movement.

CENFAD brings together a diverse array of Temple’s nationally and internationally recognized scholars from history, political science, law and other disciplines to examine international security issues of critical importance. The center’s faculty members study a wide range of subjects, from military conflict to terrorism to the role of intelligence agencies in policy-making to the impact of the military on American life and society.

The current Marvin Wachman Director of CENFAD is historian Richard Immerman, now serving a one-year appointment in Washington, D.C., as assistant deputy director of national intelligence and analytic ombudsman in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Immerman explained the significance of Wachman’s generosity: “This gift ensures that the director will be able to devote the time and attention to CENFAD that it requires — and that it deserves.

“With more time to dedicate to CENFAD, the Wachman Director will be able not only to administer the multiple programs more effectively, but also to have greater opportunities to conceive of and formulate programs and to seek external support, from both donors and foundations.”

Said College of Liberal Arts Dean Teresa Scott Soufas, “Marvin Wachman was a loyal friend to the College of Liberal Arts. Being able to name the directorship of CENFAD after someone with his reputation will impart to the position —and, indeed, the center—a heightened level of distinction that will enhance the visibility of the entire College.”

History Professor William Hitchcock, who is acting as the center’s director during Immerman’s leave of absence, said, “CENFAD’s high profile on the international stage is evident in the center’s ability draw scholars from across the US and much of the world. In this way, CENFAD connects Temple to practitioners and scholars who are studying global issues, and, in so doing, enacts the vision that Marvin Wachman articulated throughout his presidency.”