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Robbie Gordy studied French in high school, and by the time he came to KU, he was eager to pick up another language.

While he chose history as his major, he also took all the available undergrad classes in Italian language, literature and cultures. Now employed by Christie’s auction house in New York, Robbie finds his foreign languages to be indispensable.

“Language skills are a must-have in the art world,” he said. “The clientele is incredibly diverse, not to mention that many of the sources required in research are in a foreign language,”

After graduating from KU in 2009, Robbie went on to earn his master’s in the History of Art from Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2011. At Christie’s, he collaborates on the presentation and development of high-profile consignments and collections at auction. He is also a charity auctioneer, and raises millions of dollars each year at galas and benefits for organizations in New York and across the country.

“People wrongly assume that foreign language only makes a difference if you're fluent,” he said. “In my work, things like phrases, cultural knowledge that comes in connection with learning a foreign language, and even the ability to simply translate the title of a work of art are incredibly helpful skills.”


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Diversity

Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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