Mellon Foundation Awards $6-Million Grant to Support Graduate Education in the Humanities

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the School of Arts and Sciences a grant of $6 million to support graduate education in the humanities. This endowment gift will significantly enhance financial aid for SAS graduate students in the humanities through fellowships as well as a new award program.

“Graduate student support is an investment not only in the future of academe but also in the future of society,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “The Mellon Foundation’s generous grant will allow us to increase our support of exceptional doctoral students doing humanistic scholarship at Penn, and help us sustain our commitment to the next generation of scholars and researchers.”

In the next few years, the Mellon gift will be used to provide continuing graduate students in the humanities support for summer stipends and dissertation research. In the future, the Mellon funds will also help launch a new award program—the Francis Hopkinson Fellowship—to recognize those top fourth- and fifth-year students pursuing humanities dissertation research.

“Outstanding graduate students are essential to the intellectual life of a great university,” said SAS Dean Rebecca Bushnell. “We are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation for this endowment support, which will help the School attract the very best of the next generation of humanities scholars, researchers and teachers.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation makes long-term grants in a number of areas—including higher education and scholarship—to build, strengthen and sustain institutions and their core capacities. Previous initiatives the Foundation has supported at Penn include postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities, the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism and the Penn Humanities Forum.

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