Centenary to benefit from $2.7 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

October 27, 2016

SHREVEPORT, LA — R. Owen Williams, president of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), has announced that the organization has received $2.7 million in funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a five-year faculty advancement program. Centenary is one of 16 member schools in the ACS, a consortium of nationally recognized liberal arts colleges that includes Davidson, Washington & Lee, and Rhodes.

“Centenary’s membership in the ACS is a point of pride that also brings real, tangible benefits for our faculty and students,” says Dr. Jenifer K. Ward, Provost and Dean of the College at Centenary. “This faculty advancement grant from the Mellon Foundation allows Centenary to invest in one of its greatest resources, and we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues at the other ACS schools to continue our shared tradition of innovative excellence in the liberal arts.”

The grant will enable the ACS to provide significant financial support for faculty innovation at its 16 member colleges and universities, including Centenary. Funding will be available for projects in three areas: innovative instruction, collaborative curriculum, and inclusive teaching. The new programs developed will promote collaboration among the ACS institutions.

A portion of the grant will be used to continue the ACS’s agenda of providing grants to faculty to fund initiatives in innovative pedagogy. Other projects will experiment with providing new, collaborative curricula, as well as combining resources across campuses to create entirely new courses and programs. A third emphasis will be on faculty diversity and inclusion.

The Mellon Foundation helps colleges and universities respond to the current challenges affecting higher education, and fosters collaboration within and among institutions. “During a period of dramatic demographic change and constant pressure to demonstrate the ‘value proposition’ of a liberal arts education, the ACS’s determination to address the challenges of diversity, equity, inclusion, and financial equilibrium are worthy of support,” observed Eugene Tobin, senior program officer in higher education and scholarship in the humanities. “Over two decades ago, ACS’s willingness to use technology to create a virtual classics program demonstrated the intellectual benefits of academic collaboration. This grant,” Tobin noted, “will enable a new generation of students and faculty to share resources and pedagogies that combine the strengths of a residential education with the latest advances in technology.”

The ACS consortium of 16 nationally recognized liberal arts colleges spreads across 12 states extending from Virginia to Texas and represents approximately 3,000 faculty and 30,000 undergraduates.