International Studies founder dies
Edwin H. Fedder
of The Current staff
Last semester saw the passing of one of UM-St. Louis' key architects. Edwin H. Fedder, founder of the UM-St. Louis Center for International Studies and noted scholar, died Dec. 1, 1999, at the age of 70.
Fedder came to the University in 1967 to start an international studies program at UM-St. Louis. At that time, he was already well-respected for his work in political science.
Joel Glassman, current director of the Center for International Studies, said Fedder made it a priority to support faculty research and to acquire faculty members with international interests.
"He was a very skillful advocate for international studies," Glassman said.
Charles Korr, professor of history and a fellow in the Center for International Studies, said Fedder put aside money to invite guests from overseas and took many other actions to promote international awareness.
"He changed the whole climate of the campus," Korr said.
Since it began, the Center has grown considerably. Glassman said it now supports the International Studies Certificate. Glassman said recent years have seen the development of more study abroad and student exchange programs, as well as support services for international students. Glassman said the Center also provides for international studies outreach to the community.
Fedder was a well-known expert on U. S. foreign policy and national security. Glassman said Fedder's most famous works were his studies on NATO, and the roles of alliances in both theoretical and practical contexts.
"Some of that work is still considered the best work on NATO that has been done," Glassman said.
Fedder is perhaps most remembered among faculty and students for his role as a mentor. Glassman described Fedder as someone who was not just respected, but also deeply loved by faculty and former students.
Glassman highlighted Fedder's willingness to help new faculty.
"He played a huge role in the development of the whole institution, not just international studies," Glassman said.
Fedder retired from University life in 1991, but remained active, writing satirical commentary in the form of poetry.
An annual lecture has been established in Fedder's honor. The Dr. Edwin H. Fedder Annual Lecture in Foreign and International Affairs has been endowed by contributions from faculty and some of Fedder's former students. The first lecture is planned for this spring.