About the Mansfield Center
"I believe that one day, America and the other nations clustered along the shores of the Pacific will be neighbors along a lake. A closely interwoven community sharing common interests and common goals."
-Mike Mansfield, March 27, 1980
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center is an academic unit of the University of Montana dedicated to enhancing mutual understanding between the United States and Asia and to fostering ethical public policy and leadership. The Center supports this mission by fostering university and community links with Asia and dialogue on issues facing the United States, Asia, and the world on matters of the economy, the environment, global development, and international relations.
Established in 1983 with an endowment from the United States Congress, the Center honors the legacy of Senator Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen Hayes Mansfield. The endowment, which is managed by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation located in Washington, D.C., honored Mike Mansfield's long and distinguished service and expressed the universal respect in which his colleagues and the nation held him and his life partner Maureen Hayes Mansfield.
The Center originally housed two parallel programs that embodied the core interests and characteristics of Senator Mansfield's career: Modern Asian Affairs and Ethics in Public Affairs. Ethical issues relating to international affairs and issues of leadership, public service, and the environment have been integrated into the Center's core work on Asia and U.S.-Asian relations.
The Center has broadened its original focus on East and Northeast Asia to include Southeast Asia, an evolution that reflects growing American interests in this sub-region of a dynamic continent with ever-growing links to the United States.
The Center is located on Level Four of The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana, from which Mike Mansfield received his M.A. degree in History and Political Science in 1934 and where he taught Far Eastern History until he entered politics in 1942.