Graphic of a capital state building with woman symbol

Barbara Callaway has played many roles at Rutgers since arriving in 1972: first female political science professor, associate provost of both Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers University–Newark, and graduate school dean. But to scholars of gender and politics, one descriptor seems to cover it all: pioneer.

As a Fulbright professor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before gender and politics were linked in the minds of most scholars, Callaway spent three years in West Africa conducting groundbreaking research into the lives of the region’s Islamic women. She wanted to investigate how their beliefs influenced their perceptions of their domestic roles, economic welfare, and political status. The subject of inquiry is still relevant today; in those days, it was unprecedented.

Upon returning to campus, Callaway, today a professor emerita in the Department of Political Science at the School of Arts and Sciences, was part of the small group of faculty that was instrumental in founding the graduate program in women and politics. To this day, it remains internationally recognized as the premier program of its kind for political science students.

And this year, Callaway ensured that her life’s work will continue at Rutgers by including a $1 million bequest provision in her will. The gift will establish an endowed graduate fellowship at the Eagleton Institute’s Center for American Women and Politics and a dissertation fund in the Department of Political Science.

“When Barbara came into the field of political science, there was almost no one doing work on women and politics; it was a field that simply didn’t exist,” says Susan Carroll, a senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics. “It is only fitting now that she’s going to help secure its future.”