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NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell and her husband, Alan Greenspan, have made a commitment to endow Penn with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Mitchell, who graduated from Penn’s College for Women with a degree in English in 1967, is also the chair of the Penn Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers and a University Trustee Emerita.

The Center, which was announced Aug. 21, will continue the work of the Penn Program on Democracy, Constitutionalism and Citizenship, which was launched in 2006 to encourage research and scholarship on these topics. 

“This is a wonderful time in history for all of us to think about what it means to be an American and what it means to be a citizen of the world and how democratic values can better inform our lives,” Mitchell said in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian. 

Mitchell has been critical of the Trump administration over various issues. In March 2016, she said President Trump is “completely uneducated” about the world and more recently in April, she told Politico that Trump has the most hostile attitude to the press among all the seven Presidents she has covered.

But the Andrea Mitchell Center is “non-partisan,” Mitchell said, and will not be influenced by political affiliations. 

“We’re going to be studying civil values and democracy and the Constitution and how it applies today in all forms,” she said. “I have no role at all in what direction the scholars take.”

The Center marks the third time that Mitchell and Greenspan have endowed the University with a gift. They have previously funded two professorships under the Penn Integrates Knowledge program, which was launched in 2005 to recruit faculty with expertise across disciplines. 

Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a press release that Mitchell and Greenspan share Penn’s commitment to “the essential role of path-breaking scholarship” and “robust, reasoned, and evidence-based dialogue in a democratic society.”

Political Science professor Jeffrey Green will serve as the director of the Center.

“I wanted to show how Penn can really improve and expand the understanding of what democracy and citizenship means to our society,” Mitchell said. “And I thought that this would be a way to expand the reach of our wonderful faculty, engaged students at all levels, and become a larger voice for the importance of democratic values.”

Correction: A previous version of this article wrote that Jeffrey Green said, “I wanted to show how Penn can really improve and expand the understanding of what democracy and citizenship means to our society." It was Andrea Mitchell who made this quote. The DP regrets the error.

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