News and Media
Mellon Foundation Grant Helps Create Foreign Languages and International Cultures Center
Oct. 24, 2011
Oberlin College has been awarded a grant of $950,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to strengthen international humanities teaching and research through the creation of a Center for the Study of Foreign Languages and International Cultures. The challenges facing the world today are inherently global, making knowledge of other cultures—their languages, histories, beliefs, political and social structures, and values—essential for informed citizenship in the 21st century. Climate change, national security, human rights, food security, finance and trade all require approaches and solutions that recognize not only local conditions but also the complex ways in which these issues span borders, cultures, and continents.
The center will play a critical role in meeting the college’s strategic goal of “internationalizing” Oberlin, by providing an ongoing source of support for faculty development, curriculum development, and humanities programming essential to sustaining a current and vital international curriculum.
The grant from the Mellon Foundation includes a challenge grant of $500,000 that must be matched by $1.5 million in new gifts over the next four years, to create a $2 million endowment to support the center’s faculty and curriculum development activities, international programming, and staffing. To launch the center while fundraising for the match is under way, the Mellon Foundation also awarded the college $450,000 in current-use funds to begin activities of the center in 2012-13.