Peace studies began at the University of Portland in 1975. Fr. Joseph Powers, C.S.C., the then Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, acting as impresario. This program of Interdisciplinary Studies was at first an academic concentration terminating in a certificate, it continues today as the Social Justice Minor, a program of undergraduate study.
Dr. Loretta Zimmerman (History) was the first director; then Dr. Matthew Baasten (Theology), and from 1993-2008 Rev. Claude Pomerleau, C.S.C., (PhD., Political Science) headed Peace Studies, and (later) Social Justice Studies. Fr. Pomerleau died July 21, 2019. He served at the University of Portland until his retirement in 2014 — and of course was still teaching post-retirement, leading students in classroom instruction and discussion through Spring 2019. Retired, but not retiring.
International Relations was his academic box; but of course Fr. Pomerleau’s reflex was to escape pigeonholes and boxes. From his arrival on campus in 1991, his courses were cross-listed with the Peace Studies Program. When he became chair of the Department of History and Political Science he was already Director of Peace Studies (he was chair of Political Science and Director of Peace Studies simultaneously, 1994-2000). He was still Director of Peace Studies when the program was renamed in 2003 and then reimagined in 2006 to incorporate service internships into the curriculum. Fr. Pomerleau continued in the director’s role through 2008. Plus, somehow, while on sabbatical in 2003, he also served as the founding director of “The Department of Diplomacy and International Studies” at Uganda Martyrs University (Kampala); and also also, as visiting professor of International Studies at the University of Chile (IEI) since 1991. Many-sided, Claude preferred international football (Futbol = soccer) to the American game. Yes, Pilots’ Soccer first of all. Many-many-sided. Priest. Teacher. Scholar. Pastoral Resident. Prison Chaplain. Musician. Friend. In every role, an encourager cheering and inspiring others onward.
A model where what is received is handed on with value-added (see, listen, act); what the Holy Cross religious tradition refers to as an Educator in the Faith.