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Iona’s Institute for Thomas Paine Studies Awarded $1 Million by Gardiner Foundation

Dr. Tricia Mulligan, Dr. Nora Slonimsky and Dr. Vin CalluzzoLeft to right: Dr. Tricia Mulligan, associate provost for strategic academic initiatives; Dr. Nora Slonimsky, Gardiner assistant professor of History; Kathy Curran, executive director of the Gardiner Foundation; and Dr. Vin Calluzzo, provost.
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Iona College has been awarded a total of $1 million in grant money from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to enhance the College’s Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS). An additional $750,000 grant was recently awarded following the first $250,000 in late 2016.
The Institute for Thomas Paine Studies was founded in 2013 with a partnership between Iona College and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association. It is dedicated to furthering an awareness of the significance of the work of Thomas Paine and the role he played in both the French and American revolutions. Iona’s Institute of Thomas Paine Studies -- the first of its kind at an institution of higher education -- hosted the first-ever International Conference on Thomas Paine Studies, participated in the second international conference held in Paris in 2014, supported the creation of a mobile device application on the American Revolution and Thomas Paine, and supported the editing of an essay collection, New Directions in Thomas Paine Studies.
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation is dedicated to supporting the study of New York State history and preserving local historical collections. The grant will allow Iona to maintain and enhance the Thomas Paine archives, which are housed in the College’s Ryan library. It will also facilitate the expansion of an academic center, which will serve as a hub of American Revolution and Paine centered scholarship and provide resources for increased research, the hiring of a faculty member and the hosting of academic conferences. ITPS will attract scholars from around the country and the world, and will bring national prominence to Iona College.
"The Gardiner Foundation's gift is a critical element in Iona College's expansion of the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and the resources dedicated to the scholarship of the American Revolution and of Thomas Paine," said Provost Vincent J. Calluzzo, Ph.D. “Iona’s location in New Rochelle, a region rich in Revolutionary War history and almost next door to the Paine Cottage on North Avenue, adds to the value of the Institute.”
Using the grant, the College recently welcomed its first Gardiner Assistant Professor of History, Nora Slonimsky, Ph.D. Slonimsky comes to Iona and the ITPS to support the research of faculty fellows and students, and to ensure the continuing success of the International Conference on Thomas Paine. While at Iona, Slonimsky will mobilize and leverage the active community of young Americanist scholars nationally and particularly in the greater New York City area, as well as contribute not only to the body of literature on Paine and the American Revolution, but also to the growth and success of the ITPS at the College.
Additionally, the ITPS hosts the third international conference on the American Revolution and Thomas Paine — another product of the grant — in October 2018.
For more information on the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies, visit
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education, located just 20 miles from Midtown Manhattan in New Rochelle. With a global network of more than 45,000 alumni, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, pre-professional and professional programs, Master of Arts, Master of Science and Business Administration degrees, and numerous advanced certificate programs. The College is the second-largest private sector employer in New Rochelle and provides more than 66,000 service hours in the community each year. Studies indicate the College also has an annual economic impact of $258 million as measured by the NY Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU). See more at