The Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding, established by the Willson Center through the support of The Delta Air Lines Foundation, hosts outstanding global scholars, leading creative thinkers, artists and intellectuals who teach and perform research at the University of Georgia. Each holder of the Delta Visiting Chair engages the Georgia community through lectures, seminars, discussions and programs; they present global problems in local context, with a focus on how the arts and humanities can inform conversations on major contemporary issues.
The Delta Visiting Chair was originally established as the Delta Prize for Global Understanding in 1997 through the generous support of The Delta Air Lines Foundation, with the purpose of advancing understanding and cooperation among cultures and nations. The Delta Prize for Global Understanding was presented to individuals whose initiatives have helped promote world peace, including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ted Turner, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. The Delta Prize transitioned to the Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding, as approved by the Board of Regents, in 2014. The inaugural Delta Visiting Chair was held by Alice Walker in 2015.