More than 400 Oxy students have participated in the Kahane Oxy-at-the-UN program since it was founded by Professor George Sherry in 1986. Students intern in an agency or related organization to the United Nations or a foreign mission to the UN, and are firsthand observers of major events on the international agenda. It is a fast-moving experience, challenging students to combine internship responsibilities with the related course work.
Established in 1945, the United Nations continues to deal with the new and ongoing challenges of security and development in the 21st-century context of globalization and unprecedented technological change. While some of the world's population has benefitted from these transformations, parts of the developing world continue to lag behind. The search for ways to narrow this gap is at the heart of the work of the United Nations as students arrive here each fall.
In September 2010, Occidental President Jonathan Veitch announced a $500,000 lead gift from Occidental trustee Bill Kahane '70 and his wife, Elizabeth, toward a permanent endowment for the program. In April 2014, the Kahane's further pledged $5.5 million to endow the program. This generous support not only provides a permanent endowment for the program, but it will also increase student scholarship support, give students greater access to cultural offerings in New York, support student travel to Washington, D.C., and make it possible to bring UN programming back to the Occidental campus.