Gettysburg College receives $600,000 Mellon grant

Music major Sarah Tuttle ’13 (right in photo) received Mellon funds to research Buddhist influences on Gustav Mahler and his work. Her mentor was Sunderman Conservatory Prof. Alexander Kahn (left).

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Gettysburg College a $600,000 grant that will allow more students, especially first-years and sophomores, to undertake faculty-mentored research or creative work. The four-year grant also provides funding for course development, on-campus workshops for faculty, and integration of digital technologies into coursework and scholarship.

 The grant builds on two previous Mellon grants. In 2006 the Foundation awarded the College seed money for a pilot summer faculty-mentored research program. An additional $500,000 grant over five years expanded the successful program from 2008-2012 and supported faculty in mentoring course development. Ten Gettysburg students conducted summer research projects with Mellon support this past summer.

“Once again, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made an extraordinary investment in a Gettysburg College education,” said College President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77. “This grant supports our goal to deepen the intellectual engagement of our students and to provide a rich and active learning experience that will prepare our students well for their lives beyond Gettysburg.”

The impact of the past support is plainly evident each spring, when hundreds of students, many of whom received Mellon funds for their projects, share their work with the campus community at a full-day colloquium, comprising poster sessions, academic talks, and creative performances. Students also attend or present at domestic or international conferences in their fields throughout the year.

“With support from The Mellon Foundation, the College has made great strides in expanding undergraduate research and creative work from the province of the natural sciences to the arts, humanities, and social sciences,” Gettysburg College Provost Christopher Zappe said. “Not only are more students submitting proposals for research or creative work, but more faculty are eager to mentor them through their projects,” Zappe said. “There is more activity and it is more inclusive.”

The Mellon grant will also help faculty create or redesign courses to be more discovery-based and to engender student interest in projects earlier in their academic careers. An International Bridge Course will be developed to help integrate study abroad more seamlessly into students’ academic programs. Gettysburg’s Instructional Technology staff will design workshops on developing digital projects for use in classes or student-faculty collaborative research.

Much of the funding is dedicated to providing opportunities for active learning, one of five goals of Gettysburg Great, The Campaign for Our College. The comprehensive fundraising campaign will increase support for student scholarships, active learning opportunities like research and internships, faculty and teaching, a renovation of Plank Gymnasium, and the Gettysburg Fund.


Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

 Contact: Sue Baldwin-Way, director of development communications, 717-337-6832

Posted: Mon, 1 Oct 2012

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