PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A $3-million endowment grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Brown University will enable the Graduate School to expand scholarship in the humanities by increasing enrollment and enriching the curriculum with new interdisciplinary seminar offerings.
The new grant allows Brown to create an endowment that will support the Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Fellows in the Humanities. The fellowship will support up to 14 additional students over the next five years, providing stipend and research costs during years one, two, four and five of their studies. The program will give new visibility to the humanities at Brown and help to strengthen faculty investment in graduate training.
“With this $3-million endowment grant, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has expressed enormous confidence in Brown University’s Graduate School and the way in which it trains the next generation of researchers and teachers in the humanities,” said Sheila Bonde, dean of the Graduate School. “We are honored and invigorated by this gift and the value it places on graduate education in a complex and quickly evolving world.”
The award will also provide support for an estimated 13 curriculum-development awards, which will broaden the impact of the program and allow the Graduate School to introduce new interdisciplinary seminars designed to bring students together across fields for training in languages, quantitative skills, and analytic skills such as mapping and geographic information systems. The seminars will be co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities.
Brown’s Graduate School has flourished under President Ruth J. Simmons’ Plan for Academic Enrichment. Since 2001, the number of applications to Brown’s advanced-degree programs has nearly doubled to 7,150 in 2008. All incoming doctoral students are now guaranteed five years of full financial support and health insurance, and 12 new degree programs have been launched through internal initiatives and new partnerships with external institutions and organizations. Brown currently enrolls more than 1,800 full-time graduate students.
The availability of the Mellon Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities is expected to aid in attracting exceptional graduate students to Brown in the highly competitive humanities fields. Humanities students account for nearly 25 percent of the Graduate School’s doctoral students, and academic activities in the humanities occupies the largest percentage of the faculty (31 percent). The Mellon Fellows will be selected from nominees of departments.