GRCC Picks up $160,000 Grant for Cultural Center

The money will help the college establish a Humanities Cultural Center to bridge its professional-technical programs with regional cultural institutions.

Green River Community College last month was awarded at $160,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to help the college establish a Humanities Cultural Center, a college press release said Tuesday.

The center is envisioned to link Humanities courses with Green River’s professional-technical programs and facilitate collaboration with regional cultural institutions.

The college found the crossover was necessary when it surveyed students two years ago to try and improve its Natural Resources Program. The surveys revealed that while students understood how to write research essays, they did not have a full grasp of how different cultures viewed the natural world. Students wanted to learn more, but the college did not have the courses to teach them. Instructors knew the graduates needed to understand how to communicate and work with diverse audiences in private industry, government, labor and environmental groups.

“Green River has a proud tradition of incorporating humanities into the quality education our students expect and receive,” said Green River President Dr. Eileen Ely. “We’re thankful to the NEH for the grant and excited for the next steps to build a world-class humanities cultural center.”

The grant was awarded as part of the NEH’s Challenge Grants for Two-Year Colleges, a capacity building grant which requires the Green River Community College Foundation to raise additional funds on a two-for-one basis. The NEH grant will match 50 cents of every dollar of donated funds up to the grant’s total amount through July 2017.

“The Humanities have a singular power to help people see bridges where they have only imagined barriers,” said Jaeney Hoene, project director and English professor, “This center will bring together thousands of students, teachers and community members who will recognize and celebrate their shared heritage.”

The NEH offers Challenge Grants for Two-Year Colleges to “strengthen their long-term humanities programs and resources,” encouraging developed programs to be shared with other institutions while looking for new sources of humanities funding. To inquire about donations, call the Green River Foundation office at (253) 288-3330, email foundation@greenriver.edu or visit the foundation’s website. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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