The Pars Endowment for Persian Study

May 1, 2018
Plaque saying The Pars Endowment for Persian Study in honor of the people of Dashtestan, Iran with an image of Cyrus the Great's tomb

Plaque honoring the Pars Endowment for Persian Study

Endowment established for Persian studies

In 2013, an anonymous donor generously established the Pars Endowment for Persian Study. The initial $25,000 contribution created a fund to help build the Persian Studies collection and support the growing research and teaching needs in Persian Studies at UNC. The endowment will help the Library acquire Persian Studies materials such as books, journals, and electronic resources, and the appropriate technologies to ensure access to specialized materials.

Pars is the historical name for one of Iran’s 31 provinces. Pars, now known as Fars, was the birthplace of the Persian Empire and its founder, Cyrus the Great (born ca. 600 BCE). The donor wished to honor the ancient history of what is now Iran, and particularly the people of the donor’s home county of Dashtestan in Fars province.

“Helping the UNC Library grow its Persian studies collections in this way is a remarkable tribute,” said Mohamed Hamed, Middle East and African Studies Librarian. “It is part of a groundswell of community support from the local Persian community that is helping us build outstanding collections in this area. We are extremely grateful for this generosity.”

Persian language has been taught at UNC since 2000 in the Department of Asian Studies. A growing number of UNC faculty members and graduate students use Persian in their research and as they prepare for careers in many domains.

An endowment is a permanent fund, invested for both growth and income. Its purpose is to provide a perpetual source of income. Endowment funds are important because they relieve the Library from having to raise every dollar it needs every year. Funds like the Pars Endowment provide a stable source of income upon which the Library can depend. Since it was established, several other donors have added contributions to the Pars Endowment.

Along with endowment funding, gifts of materials are valued. See the Persian Studies collection wish list of the most urgently needed items.

Carved stone relief of bearded men and flowers

Architectural detail from Persepolis, in Fars (Pars) province

The UNC Library and the Persian Studies collection are open to all, not only UNC students, staff, and faculty. Contributions will help create a strong Persian Studies collection for students and researchers today and for the generations to come.

To make a tax-deductible donation online go to and select the Pars Endowment for Persian Study (575986). Or send your check, payable to Friends of the Library, UNC-Chapel Hill noting Pars Endowment (575986) to: UNC-Chapel Hill, P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0309.

For more information about the Library’s Persian Studies collection, contact Jill Ullman, Interim Director of Library Development, at, (919) 843-5651. For more information see Persian Studies program at UNC.