Dean Rusk Office

Disorienting & Reorienting (PART 1 of 3) Davidson College

Dean Rusk Office

Davidson, North Carolina 28036, United States

Created By: Sarah Mellin


Dean Rusk Office

Today Duke Hall includes a dormitory and the Dean Rusk International Studies Office, which is located in a portion of the building named by Carole and Marcus Weinstein (as pictured here).

Dean Rusk was an alum of the college (Class of 1931) and the Secretary of State for United States Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, between 1961 and 1969. Rusk was instrumental in United States intervention in Vietnam and the continuation of the Vietnam war, and worked hard to avoid accountability for the violence that ensued (Yi and Mellin 2018). Rusk was a strong proponent of Agent Orange, an herbicide that was used as a severe chemical weapon against people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia (Ibid.; 2011). Rusk was also instrumental in threatening sanctions against Ghana’s first democratically elected president Kwame Nkrumah (Pohl 2016, 13-14), and was likely an instigator of the coup that eventually unseated Nkrumah in 1966 (Ibid.). He began his partnership with Davidson College in 1983 as the benefactor of the International Studies Program (Sherbine 1999, 9), and Rusk Eating House was named in his honor in 1995 (Moretz 1995, 4). Today, the college still uses these program funds to sponsor students to study abroad in countries that Dean Rusk was responsible for destabilizing, but to date there has been no known formal acknowledgment by the college of his role in these or other international atrocities.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Disorienting & Reorienting (PART 1 of 3) Davidson College


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