How You Can Support the College of Humanities

There are many ways – large and small – to help support the work of the College of Humanities.

The College of Humanities is committed to developing private support for its outstanding research, teaching, and service activities. To sustain its commitment to excellence, the College must recruit and retain the best faculty members available, provide the necessary support for their work, and attract the best undergraduate and graduate students.

There are many ways – large and small – to help support the work of the College of Humanities, from volunteering to assist with activities such as the annual Southern Arizona Language Fair or community literacy programs to providing much-needed financial support for our development priorities.

If you would like more information about any of the opportunities described below, please contact Michele Murphy at 520-621-1044 or

Student Support

The College of Humanities seeks endowment funds to provide increased financial support for deserving students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Although the value of Humanities-based scholarships has doubled since the end of Campaign Arizona in July 2005, there is still substantial unmet need. A priority is Study Abroad scholarships for undergraduates, to permit students majoring in all areas of the College to participate in the University’s many international programs, including internships and apprenticeship programs. It is of concern that the international experience, which is a personal and career advantage in today’s world, is not available to a vast majority of college students whose families already struggle to fund a college education.

Faculty Support

With seven Regents’ Professors and four University Distinguished Professors having already been named among its faculty ranks, the College of Humanities stands ready to work with donors interested in establishing the first Endowed Chair or Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Humanities at the University of Arizona. Gifts and endowments can also be directed to support the travel, research, and other logistical needs of Humanities faculty to help them maintain and expand their international impact.

Department and Program Endowments

In order to strengthen the permanent financial resources of the departments and programs in the College of Humanities , endowment funds are sought for each department and program. Earned income from these endowments is used at the discretion of department heads and program directors, in consultation with faculty and staff, to provide financial support for a variety of activities that enhance the lives of the departments and programs.

The Community Partnership Endowment

This endowment would establish a permanent base of financial support to assist the ongoing work of several key partnership efforts with K-16 schools, community groups, and arts and humanities organizations.

An example of Humanities outreach programming is Partnership Across Languages (PAL), a K-16 coalition of second language teachers and administrators committed to improving language learning and teaching in Arizona. Founded in 1994 and supported by the College of Humanities, PAL sponsors professional development opportunities for language educators and coordinates the annual Southern Arizona Language Fair. The Language Fair regularly draws 1500-2000 K-16 students to campus each spring, to compete for prizes and enjoy multicultural performances and activities. Donors are encouraged to consider supporting this event, which promotes cultural and linguistic competencies to our Arizona youth and future work force.

Staff Support

Staff members are frequently the first point of contact that students have with the University. The professionalism and skills of the classified staff are crucial in providing “a premier University experience.” An important point of consensus in the College of Humanities is that there is an urgent need to provide more systematic financial support for the continuing education and professional development of the College’s classified staff members. Giving and naming opportunities for endowments that recognize the contributions of longtime staff members are available. Unrestricted contributions to individual departments and programs are also frequently used for staff support.

A New Home for the Poetry Center

The Poetry Center is one of the best examples at the University of Arizona of a program founded by a private gift that has grown to national renown through a partnership of private philanthropy and public dollars. Founded in 1960 by writer and editor Ruth Stephan, the UA Poetry Center has become a unique landmark on the national literary map. No other literary center in the United States matches the Poetry Center’s unique combination of offerings:

  • An outstanding library collection of over 60,000 items, including books, photographs, journals, and recordings
  • A distinguished reading series that has featured 1,000 emerging and established writers
  • Academic support of both undergraduate and graduate programs, including the University’s nationally ranked Creative Writing Program
  • Writing workshops in schools, prisons, and community centers
  • Residencies for visiting writers
  • Special exhibitions, artistic and cultural events

In late summer 2007, the Poetry Center moved into a worthy new home designed by Line and Space LLC. The Helen S. Schaefer Building –a stunning new architectural landmark on the UA campus- also provides a permanent home and dedicated space for the Humanities Seminars Program. Of the building’s $6.8 million cost, almost $4.9 million has been raised from private sources. There are still naming opportunities, and space on the unique donor recognition board, for friends wanting to be a part of this important cultural icon.