Chase gift to help fund academic initiatives to benefit students, faculty

President Richard Schneider has approved a recommendation to use $300,000 to fund several academic improvements at the university. International travel and study abroad will receive more than half of these funds, while undergraduate research and a scholar-in-residence program will also benefit.

Norwich recently learned that it would receive $5.6 million from the estate of Frank Chase 1928 and his wife, Zada. This gift was designated for the creation of endowment support for academic programming at Norwich. University Provost Hubert Maultsby has recommended that $300,000 - the approximate annual interest of these funds - be used to finance several academic intitiatives. Maultsby feels that a vital part of a well-rounded education includes the opportunity to study abroad.

"I am convinced that any person who graduates from a college or university today needs to have spent some time in another culture," Maultsby said. "Whether it is for a few weeks, a semester, or a summer, every student needs to have some time and experience studying overseas."

Schneider is also a firm believer in the value of studying abroad to help round out a Norwich education.

"I believe this is a wonderful experience for our students," Schneider said. "Knowing the economic pressures that families and students are under, it is important that we do everything we can to find the resources to give them an opportunity to study in another culture."

The Board of Trustees followed President Schneider's recommendation and approved $300,000 for academic initiatives, to be spent in the following areas:

  • $191,000 for international travel and studies abroad: These funds will be used to establish endowments for students and faculty to travel/study abroad, and to initiate staff and hire a half-time director for an office of international education/study abroad. Currently, Norwich students are studying in France, Ireland, Spain, Costa Rica, and Germany.

  • $74,000 for undergraduate research: This money will be set aside to offer summer stipends for faculty and student research and to fund student presentations - with faculty - at professional meetings. The funds will be given to an undergraduate research committee for the purpose of awarding summer stipends to faculty and student research assistants for the presentations.

  • $35,000 for a scholar in residence program: These funds will be used to attract scholars in residence specific to a division or discipline (i.e., poet, writer, or architect in residence) to the campus for one or two days, to conduct colloquial or master classes. The scholars might also provide an evening seminar or a public lecture with Norwich students and faculty.

"The use of these funds in areas where we can enhance our faculty and student interaction and involvement in undergraduate research, as well as to encourage students to take advantage of opportunities to study overseas, is really significant," Maultsby said. "This initiative is a tremendous opportunity in terms of adding to the total Norwich experience."

malbury@norwich.edu, November 2004

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