LAWRENCE — A $790,000 gift from the Hall Family Foundation will provide $430,000 for renovations to the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas and $360,000 toward meeting a National Endowment for the Humanities matching challenge grant.
The NEH challenge grant of $425,000 requires $1.275 million in matching gifts by July 31, 2015. The grant will underwrite two new programs at the Hall Center, Research Collaboratives and Scholars on Site, which will encourage and support collaborative research in the humanities.
This award is the Hall Center’s unprecedented third challenge grant from the NEH. The first NEH challenge grant for the Hall Center, in 1983, supported faculty enhancements, and the second, in 2000, funded development of new outreach programs and expansion of the Center’s Humanities Lecture Series.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little expressed appreciation for the Hall Family Foundation’s gift. “The humanities are a vital part of not just the life of our university, but of our society as a whole,” she said. “The Hall Family Foundation’s consistent, generous support for the humanities at KU enables our scholars to contribute to the creativity of our world, as well as help prepare our students for successful lives.”
Angela Andresen McClelland, vice president of the Hall Family Foundation and a member of the Hall Center’s advisory board, said the programs created through this NEH grant will launch stronger collaborative research projects that benefit KU, its students and the community. “The Hall Family Foundation is pleased to provide early support to the matching fund,” she said. “We trust this will promote fundraising efforts toward the required match and put the Hall Center on confident footing as it proceeds through the five-year grant period.”
Victor Bailey, Hall Center director, said the defining mark of the Hall Family Foundation is the promotion of excellence in the sciences, arts and humanities by the sustained provision of advice and endowment. “The Hall Center is deeply appreciative of this new gift,” Bailey said. “Not only will it underwrite collaborative research in the humanities, but it will also allow essential improvements to the structure of the center.”
Bailey said renovations will include creation of a new seminar room and two office spaces, as well as other improvements to the building.
The gift is part of Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.