Holy Cross Receives $800,000 from Mellon Foundation to Support Research in Worcester

The College of the Holy Cross has been awarded $800,000 to support community-based research projects in the City of Worcester.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, equal to the largest Holy Cross has received from the foundation, will fund five years of faculty research projects as part of a Holy Cross initiative called Scholarship in Action.

“This initiative draws on our strengths – strong community partnerships, active engagement of students in Worcester, and our faculty’s commitment to engaging students in their research projects,” said Holy Cross Provost Margaret Freije. “We believe Scholarship in Action will transform how our faculty, students and community partners think, learn and work together.”

Holy Cross professors will pair up with community organizations to submit proposals in early 2018 to a committee that will award mini-grants to fund up to 14 projects. Research will begin in summer 2018.

Projects will focus on long-term, humanities-based research that will enrich understanding of Worcester and create meaningful partnerships between community organizations and Holy Cross faculty members. The projects must be long-term, sustainable initiatives that will last beyond a single semester or academic year.

Scholarship in Action will allow the College to go beyond its longstanding tradition of volunteering and community service and direct its intellectual resources toward the needs of the community. By focusing research on Worcester, the College invites community partners and civic leaders to consider Holy Cross as both a resource and a motivated partner. The initiative will expand on work already being done by faculty in Worcester, allowing them to expand upon their research and build sustainable projects.

In preparation for the grant, Holy Cross reached out to a number of local organizations, and while several potential projects were identified in the College’s initial proposal, projects are still in the planning stages.

Scholarship in Action will involve a number of campus departments and initiatives, including the JD Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World, the Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning, the Center for Teaching, the Office of Government and Community Relations and the Office of Assessment and Research.