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Program at U of I Shares $3-Million Grant For ‘Humanities Without Walls’ Consortium

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(Duration: 7:13)

The University of Illinois and 14 other schools have launched a series of collaborative initiatives that seek to expand interest, and careers, in the humanities.

A 2-year effort at U of I’s Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities resulted in a $3-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

It’s starting with two initiatives – one that seeks to help pre-doctoral humanities students prepare for careers outside the expected norm in that area,with summer workshops starting in 2015, and 30 students from the participating schools.

The other initiative, ‘The Global Midwest’, seeks to address 21st Century challenges like ethnic and racial conflict, and immigration.

IPRH Director Dianne Harris said many aren’t aware of careers that involve the humanities. 

She recently attended a Chicago humanities summit, where the guests included John Rowe, the former Chairman and CEO of Exelon.

"He spoke about how important he thinks a broad and a very deep education in the humanities is for the people he hires,"  Harris said. "We're seeing a more public conversation about the ways in which humanities education can lead people to careers in almost any field."

The grant allows the U of I to share the grant with the other Big Ten schools, as well as the University of Chicago and Notre Dame. 

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