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Lake Forest College receives $600,000 Mellon Grant for African American studies major

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $600,000, six-year grant to Lake Forest College for its new major in African American studies.

The funds will support the appointment of a tenure-track faculty member in African American history, and program support for the new major, including visits by scholars, artists or intellectuals who will lead seminars, forums or public readings on campus, and summer research opportunities for students majoring in African American studies.

The College’s new interdisciplinary African American study major, begun in spring 2016, expands on the minor that has attracted a steady increase in student enrollment annually.

“The major benefits a number of students and furthers a cultural understanding that is desperately needed at a time when race relations are again at the forefront of our nation’s challenges,” Chair of African American Studies Judy Dozier said.

“With one of the most racially diverse student bodies among Midwest liberal arts schools, the College has significant reason and opportunity to expand this program and the number of students enrolled in it,” President Stephen D. Schutt said. “The Mellon Foundation has given us the opportunity to further our work in this important area of study.”

According to Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty Michael Orr, the new African American studies major “will benefit students for many years to come, and prepare them well for leadership positions in an increasingly diverse society, admission to graduate programs and related opportunities.”