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February 29, 1996

Center for Latin American Studies receives funding

Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies has received five grants and endowments to support its archaeology database, field research, graduate education and student programs.

The largest of the grants is a $2.5 million commitment from The Howard Heinz Endowment to create a permanent fund for graduate education.

Of the grant total, $2 million will be given outright to the center to establish the fund. The remaining $500,000 will be in the form of a challenge grant to encourage other donors to contribute to the fund.

"If we are successful in raising the matching money by 1998, a $3 million permanent endowment for graduate education will be created," said center director Billie DeWalt.

Money earned from the endowment will be used to fund Howard Heinz graduate fellowships for the Latin American archaeology program and the Latin American social and public policy program.

Other grants or endowments awarded to the center include:

* A $210,000 pre-doctoral fellowship endowment in Latin American archaeology from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The endowment must be matched within three years on a two-to-one basis. The Howard Heinz Foundation grant will be used for that purpose.

* The Tinker Foundation Inc. has approved a research grant of $15,000 that will be matched by $15,000 from the University. The grant is to be used for short-term field research in Latin America or Iberia by junior faculty and graduate students. The grant is expected to be renewed for the same amount in 1997 and 1998.

* A $30,000 grant has been approved by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help develop, over the next two years, a Latin American archaeology database. The project is designed to make databases from archaeology projects available on the Internet and World Wide Web.

* An anonymous donor has contributed $20,000 to the center's student endowment fund. Earnings from the endowment are used to support various student programs at the center.

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