Browsing academia.SE, I discovered the existence of "endowed chairs" or "named chairs", i.e. professorships named in the honor of someone else and paid for by a donor with a gift to the university. I've never heard of anything like that before (I live and work in France so I mostly meet European academics).

Apart from the US (where this apparently exist), do endowed chairs exist elsewhere in the world?

  • Not all named chairs are endowed, although nowadays the fundraisers would not be happy to see a "naming opportunity" squandered. Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


Yes, endowed chairs exist outside the USA.

An example is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, which (according to Wikipedia) was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, the then Member of Parliament for Cambridge. The post has been held by the likes of Isaac Newton, Paul Dirac and Stephen Hawking.

  • Thanks. So perhaps it's more common in the Anglo-Saxon world.
    – user9646
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 13:30
  • 2
    @NajibIdrissi I have seen similar things in Scandinavia but I can't find a concrete example. Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 14:20
  • 4
    @NajibIdrissi Germany has them (UBS Endowed Chair of Strategic Management)
    – user71659
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 17:14
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    They exist in Australia too, e.g. garvan.org.au/news-events/news/…
    – G_B
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 0:30

In Nigeria , Endowed chairs exist; an example is the University of Lagos which has the Enoch Adeboye professorial chair for Mathematics, Named after the University's top donor, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

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