Lawrence receives $100,000 Teagle grant

Emily Passey

The Office of Public Affairs announced Dec. 13 that the university had been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Teagle Foundation. The grant funds a 20-month study of the Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellows program, to be conducted by a group of faculty, staff and students.
Lawrence was one of five small liberal arts colleges to be awarded a grant this year. Bill Skinner, director of research administration at Lawrence, believes that the grant will give Lawrence some well-deserved national recognition. The study is to be conducted over the next 20 months by a group that Skinner will oversee. During this study, the group intends to come up with methods of evaluating and assessing the fellows program. Skinner will then prepare an official report – or “white paper” – delineating the group’s findings, which he says may act as a model for other universities to implement such programs. Though Lawrence is only funded for a 20-month research period, those involved have made a decision to study the fellows as they pursue jobs after their time at Lawrence.
Skinner cites President Beck as the main drive behind Lawrence receiving this important award. Early this fall, Beck spoke about the fellows program with a representative of the Teagle Foundation, Donna Heiland. Lawrence was then invited to prepare a grant that Skinner and Beth Giese, director of corporation and foundation relations, prepared together and sent to the Teagle Foundation on Sept. 27.
When asked whether or not he was surprised that Lawrence received the grant, Skinner replied with an emphatic “no.” He commented that Beck and those involved had every reason to be confident that Lawrence would get a grant for the unique fellows program.
Program director Professor Peter Glick commented, “I think [the Teagle Foundation] viewed the fellows program as an important new innovation.” The Teagle Foundation has invited the Lawrence researchers to present the plan for evaluation at a meeting this March in New York – something Glick believes shows their interest and investment in Lawrence’s program.
Walter C. Teagle, one-time president and chairman of Standard Oil Company – now Exxon Mobil Corp. – founded the Teagle Foundation in 1944. The foundation supports intellectual and financial resources with its grants, stressing student opportunity for a challenging and wide-ranging liberal arts education. The research conducted and reported on may illuminate Lawrence’s unique program and the contribution it makes to the liberal arts community, a future that the Teagle Foundation holds in high regard.