Randolph-Macon College has been awarded a four-year, $300,000 grant from The Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will be used to enhance instruction in Chinese language
and strengthen integration of Chinese culture into the college’s interdisciplinary
coursework and cultural activities.
“We are grateful to The Mellon Foundation for its generous support,” says R-MC President
Robert R. Lindgren. “Classes in Chinese language and culture are increasingly popular
at Randolph-Macon, and through this grant we will be able to further enrich our
robust curriculum and offer students even more opportunities, including
study-abroad trips to China and internships
"This is a tremendous opportunity for the college," says Professor Todd Munson,
chair of R-MC's Asian Studies program.
"Chinese enrollments have been growing at the high school and college level for
many years, and this grant will allow us to fully support this growing trend.”
To incorporate the study of China—including its traditions, literature, culture
and history— beyond R-MC’s Asian Studies
program, five faculty members will travel to China with the goal of integrating
Chinese studies into their curricula and ultimately leading student study/travel
courses to China. The faculty trip will include tours and visits, including a number
of scholar and practitioner visits, based upon the disciplines and interests of
the travelers. Faculty will then utilize these contacts to identify persons and
places for student interaction in future trips.
A similar trip to Japan with six
faculty members took place in summer 2012. As a result, R-MC offered January Term
(J-term) study/travel courses to
Japan in 2013, and a J-term trip to
Japan is planned for 2014. The college maintains a vigorous study/travel
program with more than 150 students traveling abroad annually in related courses
across multiple disciplines.
R-MC plans to add a tenure-track faculty member in Chinese languages and cultures.
The faculty appointment is expected to begin in 2014-15.
To introduce the broader campus community to Chinese culture and build interest
in Chinese language and culture courses, R-MC plans to offer events such as lectures,
film screenings, art exhibits, and musical/arts performances. These activities will
complement R-MC’s successful endowed Moreland
Lecture, which annually brings to campus an academic speaker on an Asian
topic, with preference to China.
R-MC Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs William Franz says, “Under the
guidance of Professor Jiaxin Wu, a great number of Randolph-Macon College students
have been introduced to Chinese language and culture, and our program in Chinese
has been an integral part of our exciting major in Asian Studies. I am extremely
pleased that this grant from The Mellon Foundation will permit us to strengthen
our Asian Studies major and our language offerings in such a significant way.”