Harvard University, often ranked first among the best colleges and universities in the United States, has received more than $45 million to expand its Asian American studies program.
The donations come from 14 Asian American alumni leaders who graduated from the university between 1990 and 2003. The money will support new professorships, graduate fellowships and academic research in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' Asian American studies program. It will also attract respected scholars who will foment collaboration and innovation, according to FAS.
The university reported that the initiative was cultivated by Claudine Gay, dean of the FAS, "to strengthen the study of ethnicity, indigeneity and migration so that Asian American studies, along with study of the Latinx and Muslim American experiences, can flourish at Harvard."
"This is a rich, dynamic area of inquiry at the center of some of the biggest challenges we face today," Gay told the Harvard Gazette, the university's news website.
"For Harvard to prepare students for lives of leadership and service in a diverse world, to have an impact on issues of public consequence, and to be a truly inclusive scholarly community — personal commitments for me — this work needs to be more fully represented both on campus and in the curriculum," she said.
"We look forward to Harvard committing similar resources to Latinx, Native American, and Muslim American Studies," wrote Jane Bock, a 1981 graduate and member of the alumni group the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard, on the student-led Harvard Crimson news site.
Of the more than 1 million international students at U.S. colleges and universities, 34% are from China and 18% are from India, according to the Institute of International Education, headquartered in New York. The number of international student new enrollments has slightly declined in the past two years, not including the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed most colleges and universities, including Harvard, and moved classes online.