The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Prairie View A&M University a grant of $500,000 to support its effort to establish an African American Studies Initiative which will be housed in its Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences. Inspired by the Mellon Foundation award, an anonymous donor pledged an added $250,000 to help fund this Initiative. This generous donation is eligible for a $250,000 university match, bringing the total support for the Initiative’s launch to $1 million.
The humanities do not belong to some elitist group…knowledge as a whole should be embraced.
– Ruth J. Simmons
The project, Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU Through An African-American Studies Program Initiative, is designed to selectively infuse African American Studies content throughout the university’s liberal arts offerings. The initial concept for the program was conceived when Prairie View President Ruth J. Simmons called for the creation of an African-American Studies program in her first campus-wide address. Having directed Afro-American Studies at Princeton and Chaired the African-American Studies Department Visiting Committee at Harvard, President Simmons expressed surprise that the University was without such a program considering the University’s cultural legacy.