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Morgan State receives $500,000 grant to establish humanities and social sciences institute

Morgan State University has received a $500,000 grant to establish a program aimed at increasing the enrollment, retention and graduation rates of undergraduate humanities and social sciences students who go on to graduate programs.

The award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will be used over three years to support the creation of the Benjamin A. Quarles Humanities and Social Sciences Institute within the school's liberal arts college.

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"The Humanities and Social Sciences are the core of innovation, creativity and understanding of the human condition," university President David Wilson said in a statement. "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."

The Quarles Institute, named for a historian who spent 40 years as a faculty member at Morgan State teaching African-American history, intends to raise awareness of African Diaspora cultures, according to the news release.

"The Institute will focus on students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels," Dr. Pamela Scott-Johnson, dean of the liberal arts college, said in a statement. "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."

trichman@baltsun.com

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