A $1 million endowment, to be matched with $2 million in new funding, has been awarded to the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The funding will enable the continuation of vital lake research, create an Endowed Professorship of Environmental Studies, support undergraduate research opportunities, and provide funding to allow high school students to attend summer programming.
“The Andrew Mellon Foundation has been instrumental to both the development of the Finger Lakes Institute and the growth of environmental studies on campus,” said HWS President Mark D. Gearan. “Its generous support enables HWS to enhance course offerings for our students, increase opportunities for student research and, most importantly, leverage significant additional resources to build our teaching and research capacity. The Andrew Mellon Foundation has made it possible for Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Finger Lakes Institute to sustain this work.”
Since its founding in 2002, the Finger Lakes Institute has successfully established itself as a major center of environmental research, education and community outreach for the Finger Lakes region.
“The work being accomplished through the Finger Lakes Institute is vital to the future of our local environment,” said Marion Balyszak, director of the Institute. “This significant backing from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow necessary studies and community programs to continue.”
When fully funded, the award will provide support in four significant efforts:
• Establish a professorship to honor exemplary HWS faculty who have substantively contributed to the development of the Institute and to the scientific research and teaching that is the basis for its important work.
• Fully endow a Research Scientist position that the Mellon Foundation has supported since 2006 which will allow for greater amounts of research.
• Annually support up to four summer research students at the Institute. The undergraduates will work directly with the Institute’s faculty chair, research scientist, and director.
• Enable up to five exceptional, disadvantaged or underrepresented high school students to participate in the the annual Environmental Summer Student Youth Institute.
“The ongoing, generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is helping to build a truly exceptional environmental program that will benefit our students, faculty, community and region for generations to come,’’ said Balyszak.