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$1 million gift creates Iranian Studies chair

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Associated Press

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- A $1 million donation will allow the University of Oklahoma to create an endowed faculty position focusing on the culture and history of modern Iran.

University president David Boren announced Thursday that Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh made the gift behind the endowed chair, which will serve as the first step toward the school opening an Iranian Studies Institute.

The Farzaneh brothers, who are from Iran, both graduated from the university with architecture degrees and founded the Oklahoma City-based home building company Home Creations.

Boren says there's a "moral obligation" to prepare students to function globally and "the relationship between the United States and Iran is so important at this particular moment."

The new faculty member will be hired in time for the 2011-2012 academic year.

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