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History of S.P.R.E.E.S.

Stetson's Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (S.P.R.E.E.S.) (formerly the Department of Russian Studies) was founded in 1958 by the late eminent Russian Historian Serge Zenkovsky, Ph.D. Since then, the duPont-Ball Library has accumulated substantial Russian area holdings, and the program's faculty has increased so that the program is now outstanding among small colleges.

The expansion of the program throughout the early 1990s was made possible by grants totaling approximately $500,000 from the Knight Foundation and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Among other things, the grants helped the university to increase its library holdings in the Russian area, and to install satellite facilities for full-time monitoring of direct television broadcasts from Moscow.

S.P.R.E.E.S. is housed in the Russian Studies Center - a state-of-the-art facility that contains classrooms, a library of books, periodicals and videos, a computer lab, and television viewing areas. At the Center - or in classrooms and faculty offices throughout the university's DeLand campus - students can watch Russian television live from Moscow, via satellite. Students will also find an impressive collection of books and periodicals in both Russian and English at the duPont-Ball Library. Most importantly, the program's distinguished faculty are devoted to undergraduate instruction in its broadest sense. Faculty do not just convey specialized knowledge about their subjects - they seek to develop in their students the ability to think critically and communicate effectively in speaking and writing.