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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
February 9, 2005

National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant Will Propel Carnegie Mellon's New Humanities Center


David Shumway, director of the Humanities Center, said the NEH grant will give the center permanent financial support.
PITTSBURGH—The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $500,000 Challenge Grant to the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The grant will be used to establish an endowment that will fund the center's work for years to come.

Under the terms of the grant, the Humanities Center will receive $500,000 from the NEH contingent on the center raising an additional $1.5 million by 2008. Income from the endowment will, among other things, fund research fellows who will bring new areas of expertise to humanities students, support for the humanities curriculum, interdisciplinary humanities research, and community and campus outreach.

"It's hard to underestimate how important this is. It will provide the center with permanent financial support. It is significant that the NEH has recognized that the humanities at Carnegie Mellon are worthy of support," said David Shumway, the director of the Humanities Center.

The Humanities Center is a collaboration of faculty members from all four humanities departments: English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy. Its goals are to strengthen research and teaching in the humanities; to foster collaborations among the humanities faculty and between humanities faculty and faculty in other disciplines; and to nurture a greater role for the humanities in an increasingly technological and global society. The center will bring to the humanities at Carnegie Mellon the university's traditional focus on multidisciplinary research and education.

"The Humanities Center will focus on themes that are of broad social and cultural relevance, and out of which can come knowledge that may contribute to the solution of problems facing contemporary society," said Shumway, a professor of English at Carnegie Mellon. "The center is committed to the proposition that traditional knowledge in the humanities is relevant to such problems."

The Humanities Center is part of Carnegie Mellon's Humanities Initiative, a bold program to strengthen and broaden the humanities at Carnegie Mellon. The initiative also includes the Humanities Scholars Program and the Center for the Arts in Society.

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