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~Wellesley Receives Grant for Asian Studies~
~ Luce Foundation Support Funds New Assistant Professorship~

For immediate release:
July 17, 2002

Mary Ann Hill,

WELLESLEY, Mass. - Wellesley College has been awarded a grant of up to $330,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund a new assistant professorship in Comparative Work and Family with expertise in Korea or Southeast Asia and to bolster Wellesley's Asian Studies program.

"The grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will allow Wellesley to build on our long tradition of teaching and involvement in Asia, " said President Diana Chapman Walsh. "The new teaching position will enhance our comparative treatment of Asia and expand our curricular coverage of different regions and cultures of Asia."

The faculty position, which has been under consideration for several years, will be either a single or joint appointment in anthropology, sociology, or women's studies. The grant also will provide annual program support for course-related materials, visiting lectures, faculty research and travel, and additional course development.

Wellesley has a long tradition of interest and involvement in Asia, dating back to 1888, when the college welcomed its first foreign student from Japan. The first scholarships for Chinese students were established in 1906 to honor the visit of the Chinese High Commissioners of Education. Today, more than 350 alumnae live in some part of Asia, and nearly one quarter of the student body is of Asian descent.

Wellesley's legacy of teaching about East Asia began in 1966 with the development of one of the first Chinese language courses at a liberal arts college. Today, Wellesley's Chinese Department is nationally recognized for its tradition of excellence, offering a complete language program from beginning courses through classical Chinese, advanced seminars, and an intensive summer language and culture program in Beijing. Instruction in Japanese language began in 1985, and the Japanese Department provides courses in language through four years, augmented by offerings in literature, drama, and film. In addition, Wellesley is one of the few undergraduate colleges to have a full-time historian who teaches only courses on Japan.

The Asian Studies initiatives supported by the Luce Foundation grant complement the College's global education agenda and are among the priorities supported by The Wellesley Campaign, a five-year effort to raise $400 million. To date, more than $270 million has been raised toward this goal.

In 1998, the Luce Foundation gave a $2 million grant to Wellesley for summer internships and teaching fellowships in Asia for students and young alumnae and for seed money to seek and support good ideas for expanding Wellesley's relationships with Asia through the Wellesley-Yenching program.

Wellesley is one of seven institutions that has received a grant in the fourth and final year of the Luce Fund for Asian Studies initiative to strengthen the study of East and Southeast Asia at selective American liberal arts colleges. Others are: Bowdoin College; Claremont McKenna College; Hampshire College; Sewanee, The University of the South; Vassar College; and Wittenberg University.

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. and brother of Elisabeth Luce Moore, Wellesley College Class of 1924. The foundation supports programs focusing on the interdisciplinary exploration of higher education; increased understanding between Asia and the United States; the study of religion and theology; scholarship in American art; opportunities for women in science and engineering; and environmental and public policy programs.

Wellesley College is a prominent liberal arts college and has been a leader in the education of women for more than 125 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to about 2,300 undergraduate students.


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