• Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum
    Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum

Southwestern University has received a $250,000 Presidential Leadership Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will support two new initiatives.

Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum was invited by the Mellon Foundation to apply for the grant in recognition of his leadership over the past 11 years.

President Schrum said the bulk of the grant will be used to help pay for Southwestern’s first chief information officer. Pamela McQuesten was recently hired to fill this position after a nationwide search. Integrating the library and Information Technology Services  under a new chief information officer was one of several initatives President Schrum announced in September 2011.

A portion of the grant will go to help Mary Grace Neville, associate professor of business, plan a new Institute for Business and the Liberal Arts at Southwestern. Neville has long been interested in how the liberal arts can support undergraduate business education and is a participant in an ongoing program sponsored by the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program that focuses on this issue.

This is the third Presidential Leadership Grant President Schrum has received from the Mellon Foundation. When he was first named president, he received a $50,000 discretionary grant that he used to fund a conference about racial and ethnic diversity at national liberal arts colleges in the south. In 2007, he received a $150,000 grant that he used to encourage faculty projects that cross disciplinary lines.

Both previous grants led to larger projects that were funded by the Mellon Foundation. In 2005, Southwestern received $100,000 to develop a three-year student exchange project with several historically black colleges and universities, and $100,000 to develop a three-year faculty exchange project with the same schools. Southwestern later received another $100,000 to continue these projects for an additional three years.

And just recently, Southwestern received $500,000 from the Mellon Foundation to create a set of new interdisciplinary courses that will be required of all students.

 “We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for recognizing our previous successes and the need to support these new initiatives,” President Schrum said.


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