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October 29, 1998

Richard King Mellon Foundation gives University $11 million grant

The Richard King Mellon Foundation has awarded Pitt a four-year, $11 million grant, one of the largest ever for the University.

The grant includes $5 million for the University Honors College and $2 million each for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), Chancellor Mark Nordenberg's discretionary fund and discretionary initiatives in the Health Sciences.

Students at Pitt's Honors College have won 16 Goldwater scholarships since 1990, six Truman scholarships since 1987, and six Rhodes and Marshall scholarships since 1983 — more than at any other Pennsylvania university.

"The Honors College is characterized by academic rigor, but it is also known for its nurturing learning environment," Nordenberg said. "This grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation will enable talented and committed students to have ongoing access to the most enriching intellectual experiences." Grant money for UPCI will support basic research in lung and prostate cancers and will fund establishment of a Center for Molecular Oncology.

Regarding the $2 million for the chancellor's discretionary fund, Nordenberg said: "That portion of the grant is intended to give the University the flexibility, in a tight resource environment, to respond in a timely and effective manner to opportunities that cannot be specifically anticipated, but that will undoubtedly emerge." The $2 million for the Health Sciences likewise is intended to help those schools respond to unanticipated opportunities.

Michael Watson, vice president and director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, called the grant "a reflection of the confidence which the Mellon Foundation has in the leadership of the University, as well as a recognition of the quality and strength of the University's academic programs and the critical role which Pitt plays, and must continue to play, in the ongoing health and vitality of our region."

Filed under: Feature,Volume 31 Issue 5

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