September 15, 2000 Geneva, NY – Hobart and William Smith Colleges have received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation that will allow the Colleges to fund a new, permanent junior faculty position in East Asian Art History.
Hobart and William Smith's Asian Studies program currently offers language courses in Japanese and Chinese and courses in Asian religions and Asian history. The interdisciplinary program, which utilizes the expertise of Asian specialists from a variety of fields, will soon evolve into its own department. The new faculty position in East Asian Art History fills the one core disciplinary area not currently covered by permanent faculty appointments. The Luce Professor will offer introductory and advanced courses in Asian art history, a First Year Seminar, and an interdisciplinary course to be team-taught with an Asian Studies specialist from another discipline. The grant will also enable the Colleges to establish faculty development initiatives, including a seminar in East Asia during the summer of 2002.
“We are delighted to have the endorsement and confidence of the Henry Luce Foundation for this endeavor,” said HWS President Mark Gearan. “The Colleges are very proud of the Asian Studies program, but now, through the generosity of the Luce Fund for Asian Studies, we can offer even more depth and breadth of study so the student experience is more comprehensive.”
In recent years, the Colleges' commitment to international education has resulted in the integration of multimedia technology into the language courses and more than 20 study-abroad programs, including programs of study in Vietnam, China, Japan, and India. More than 60 percent of HWS students travel in these programs for at least one semester before they graduate. Between 1997 and 1999, 38 students participated in study-abroad programs in Asia.
The work of the Luce Foundation reflects the interests of four generations of the Luce family. These include 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; environmental programs; and public affairs and public policy programs.
The Luce Fund for Asian Studies, a special allocation approved by the Foundation's board of directors in 1998, aims to bolster existing undergraduate programs in Asian Studies by providing the funds to hire additional faculty. The fund is designed to aid programs with strong potential.
The Luce grant was made on the condition that HWS commit to continuing the faculty position on a permanent basis once the Foundation's funding has expired. The Colleges are already seeking funds to endow the position for the future.