Higher Education

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Higher Education

Higher education has been a focus of the Foundation’s grantmaking since the Foundation’s very first grant in 1936 to Yenching University in Beijing. Over half of all grant monies awarded since the Foundation’s establishment have been to higher education institutions.

Through its grants to colleges and universities, the Luce Foundation aims to advance three goals:

  • To stimulate and support scholarship, especially projects that break new ground and that cross disciplinary and geographic boundaries
  • To ensure that high-quality research, especially in the humanities and qualitative social sciences, informs policymaking and public discussion
  • To prepare the next generation of diverse scholars and academic leaders

Most of the grantmaking in support of these goals takes place through the Foundation’s thematic programs (such as American Art, Asia, Theology, or Clare Boothe Luce) or its special initiatives (like that on Religion in International Affairs). More details about those programs’ guidelines and lists of previous grants, including to colleges and universities, can be found by following the links above.

Grantseekers should review our application guidelines for more information about submitting an inquiry.

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The Foundation’s vice president, Sean T. Buffington, serves as program officer for higher education. Buffington has long experience in higher education, having served most recently as president of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and before that as associate provost at Harvard University.

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