By Katy Barenholtz
Denison is pleased to announce a $10 million grant that was given to the school by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation towards improving academic programs, internships and research.
The university will add $5 million to the already existing endowment for summer research and internship programs. The other $5 million will go towards new academic programs such as the addition of majors and adding a more global component to already existing courses.
The Sherman Fairchild Foundation has been supportive of Denison’s academic programs for years. Their decision to give the college this large grant shows their confidence and support in Denison’s potential.
President Adam Weinberg laid out a strategic plan for this endowment in order to maximize the benefits from this extremely generous grant. The plan will focus on several different issues including more support of students’ exploration of careers, more opportunities for summer internships and research on campus, expansion of the curriculum and improving the arts at Denison.
A main focus will include working closely with the Center for Career Exploration and Development on how students can make the most of their time in between semesters to hone their options for different career paths.
The grant is also designed to assist students in the internship process by connecting them with alumni or different faculty members for on-campus research opportunities. The funds will specifically cover students’ expenses throughout this process as well as a living allowance.
Weinberg said that this grant will allow the school to have over 200 fully funded summer opportunities between on-campus research and new summer internship programs. “We plan to have the program up and running in summer 2016, and we will grow it over the next few summers,” he said.
In terms of expanding curriculum, the university hopes to make the courses more globally focused. In addition to study abroad, there will be more Denison Seminars offered, which are courses that would include off campus activities.
The funds from the grant will connect Denison to sister colleges overseas through the Global Liberal Arts Alliance. To find out more about this program, there is a temporary website with more information at http://www.liberalartsalliance.org.
Expansion of the arts at Denison is another priority in this plan. In addition to the already existing programs of studio art, dance, theater, music, cinema and art history and visual culture, the faculty is working on new programs as well. Faculty would like the funds to be able to bring in professional artists to campus for residencies.
Another opportunity that the school hopes the funds will bring to campus is a connection to the arts community in metropolitan Columbus. There are many opportunities for Denison students to learn from.
Weinberg and the faculty are very excited about the opportunities that will come from this endowment. “Needless to say, I am extraordinarily grateful for this support for Denison’s initiatives.”