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Morgan State University has received $500,000 to support the establishment of a Humanities and Social Institute. The trustees of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation approved the grant for use over approximately three years.

“The Mellon investment in Morgan, which is, to our knowledge, the first public HBCU it has supported in this way, will ensure that we continue to tackle those issues in our society that stretch our minds, challenge our biases and broaden our perspectives on the issues so essential to our nation’s vitality and competitiveness,” Morgan State University President Wilson said.

“Through the Benjamin Quarles Institute, we are raising our hand and saying ‘yes’ to taking a leadership role in preparing the next generation of diverse scholars in these critical disciplines,” Wilson said.

The vision of the Quarles Institute is to increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation of students majoring in the humanities and social sciences disciplines who go on to graduate programs.

“The Institute will focus on students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” says Dr. Pamela Scott-Johnson, dean of MSU’s College of Liberal Arts. And we will also focus on increasing the number of African-American faculty and faculty of African descent who are engaged in scholarly research and teaching humanities and social sciences on Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses,” Scott-Johnson said.

The Mellon Foundation assists select colleges, universities, and research institutes in the work of training scholars and producing scholarship in the humanities contributing to culture and society.

The Morgan State University Quarles Institute is to be named for Dr. Benjamin A. Quarles. Known as an educator, writer, and scholar of African American history, Dr. Quarles spent 40 years as a faculty member at Morgan State University. He taught that African American history is an integral part of America’s story.


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