Gift of $625,000 will strengthen Asian Studies
The Freeman Foundation of New York has awarded Whitman
College $625,000 to strengthen its Asian studies program.
The grant, payable over the next four years, is
part of The Freeman Foundation Undergraduate Asian Studies Funding
Initiative aimed at helping to develop and expand Asian studies
programs throughout the country.
Whitman plans to spend $40,000 of the grant to purchase
Asia-related books and videos. The remaining $585,000 will be used
to launch a one-of-a-kind visiting scholar and travel program. In
the proposed program, one or two visiting professors or scholars
from Asia will reside on the Whitman campus for one year, teaching
courses to both Asian studies majors and non-majors. The following
summer, the visiting scholar(s) and a Whitman faculty member will
lead a group of students to Asia to conduct intensive study and
research. The program will alternate between Japan and China over
the four years of the grant.
The College is well on its way to planning next
years activities, said Patrick Keef, dean of the faculty.
Tentatively, scholars knowledgeable in the art and anthropology
of the Naxi (an indigenous hill tribe in China) will team teach
classes beginning with the 2002-2003 academic year. For three weeks
of the following summer, 10 to 15 students will have the added experience
of traveling to China to visit the region where the Naxi live. The
students will be accompanied by associate professor of anthropology
Charles McKhann (who has studied the Naxi) and the visiting scholars.