Reed Receives $1 Million Grant for New Hum 110

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, staunch defender of the humanities, supports the expansion of the Hum 110 curriculum.

By Chris Lydgate ’90 | June 7, 2018

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Reed a grant of $1 million to support the new curriculum for its signature humanities course, Hum 110. The grant will allow Reed to hire an extra humanities professor, provide time and training for professors to immerse themselves in the new course material, and deepen the collections and resources in the Hauser Library.

“The revision of the Hum syllabus is a truly Herculean task: 25 to 40 faculty becoming familiar with very different materials, times and places, developing appropriate, shared goals for this material, and evaluating the success of the resulting course,” says Prof. Nigel Nicholson, dean of the faculty. “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation deeply values the notion of a unified first-year humanities course, and recognizes the scale and importance of this revision. Their generous support represents a vote of confidence in this project and provides the resources we need to make these changes successfully. The College is deeply grateful for their support.”

Starting in Fall 2018, Hum 110 will be organized in four units, one per quarter. The first two units echo Reed’s traditional curriculum and focus on Athens and the ancient Mediterranean. The next two represent a significant intellectual expansion and focus on Mexico City and the Harlem Renaissance.

The Mellon Foundation’s grant will:

  • fund a sequence of summer workshops for professors to immerse themselves in the new material, enhance their teaching strategies, and develop tools for working with students who are not traditionally well represented at Reed. The professors will also travel to Mexico City to deepen their understanding of its history and culture.
  • fund an extra humanities professor, making class sizes smaller and freeing up time for the professors to sharpen their teaching skills.
  • fund a faculty-staff position to support English language learners who are enrolled in the course.
  • support the Hauser Library in acquiring and developing new course materials.
  • fund a sequence of reviews to track the success of the new approach.

Tags: Academics, Awards & Achievements, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Institutional, Professors