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The Stanford Humanities Center has been awarded a $625,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The grant, one of 10 that were given to colleges and universities in the United States by the independent federal agency, provides humanities institutions with seed money to create endowments for their programs.
Stanford now must raise $4 for every $1 it receives from NEH. It has four years to raise $2.5 million, and the federal funds will be awarded incrementally as the university certifies that it has raised funds privately.
According to Keith Baker, professor of history and director of the Humanities Center, the funds will be used to support endowment for faculty fellowship programs, increase stipends, provide postdoctoral fellowships and increase the number of fellowships overall.
"We are delighted that NEH has recognized the special quality and national importance of the Stanford Humanities Center as a place for humanistic research," Baker said. "Of course, meeting the four-to-one matching requirement for the grant will be quite a challenge for us, but we are confident that potential donors will be as excited about what the center does as NEH has been."
NEH awarded 216 grants totaling $15.2 million to humanities institutions this year. Stanford and the University Art Museum at the University of California-Berkeley received the largest grants, which ranged from $100,000 to $625,000.
By Diane Manuel