Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will help two local colleges advance the study of humanities in northwestern Illinois.

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) has announced in a news release that Augustana College in Rock Island and Monmouth College in Monmouth are receiving a combined $224,655 to support humanities projects at their campuses.

“I am proud to announce these two prestigious awards given to Monmouth College and Augustana College for the purposes of supporting educators and advancing the study of the humanities across our region,” said Sorensen. “Colleges and universities here in central and northwestern Illinois are once again putting the talent of our students and the tenacity of our educators on full display.” 

Augustana College is receiving $48,998 to preserve valuable records at the Swanson Swedish Immigration Research Center. The funding will be used to hire two expert consultants to uncover ways to improve facilities and ensure archives are protected for future generations of researchers. 

“Augustana’s commitment to its Swedish roots is demonstrated by this award and our thriving partnerships, including student exchange programs and President Andrea Talentino’s selection to speak during Higher Education Week at Uppsala University in October,” said Augustana College Provost Dr. Dianna Shandy. 

Monmouth College is receiving $174,657 to establish a two-week training institute for 25 K-12 teachers to study ancient Olympics and ancient Mediterranean life through hands-on instruction and activity. The experiential education model will help teachers introduce a deeper appreciation and understanding of the humanities and ancient living in their students. 

“The NEH Summer Institute that Monmouth College Classics will offer in 2024 will put a national spotlight on Monmouth’s talented faculty, beautiful campus, and excellent facilities, and it will provide a notable financial boost to the College and to a breadth of contributing educators,” said Robert Holschuh Simmons, Associate Professor and Chair of Classics at Monmouth College. “The twenty-five superb K-12 teachers from around the nation who are chosen for the Institute will spend its two weeks learning primarily from the co-directors, Monmouth Classics professor Bob Holschuh Simmons and 2021 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Nathalie Roy, who both have been among the nation’s leaders in promoting hands-on approaches to Classics.”

“Supplementing and assisting in that instruction will be five current Monmouth faculty members, one retiree, one alumna, one current student, one professor from each of Augustana College, Knox College, and the University of Illinois, and high school teachers from Chicago and Alabama,” said Simmons. “This session will provide welcome summer wage boosts to all of that talent. Monmouth College, as well, will realize a significant windfall through payments for facilities, administrative costs, and participants’ lodging and food.”

To learn more about the NEH, including information about grants, click here.