SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College is among 25 institutions that will participate in the inaugural cohort of Humanities Research for the Public Good, an initiative to promote student research, to address issues of public significance and to showcase the rich archival, library and museum collections held by participating institutions.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) awarded the grant to support Wofford’s student-centered project, “Acknowledging Our Past: Race, Landscape and History.” The project allows for two student researchers to be trained in archival research, spending a semester researching the archives and special collections at Wofford’s Sandor Teszler Library and the college’s community partnering organization in the project, the Spartanburg County Public Libraries. Student researchers also will learn from and work directly with members of the Spartanburg community during their research. The project will culminate in a public exhibit designed and led by students to showcase their research in May 2020.

The project team includes: Dr. Rhiannon Leebrick, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Luke Meagher, special collections librarian in the Sandor Teszler Library; Brad Steinecke, assistant director of local history at the Spartanburg County Public Libraries; Dr. Phillip Stone, Wofford College archivist; and Jessalyn Story, director of Wofford’s Center for Community-Based Learning.

Wofford was selected to participate in the CIC initiative through a highly competitive application process, with nearly four applications for each available spot in the program. Each institution will partner with a community-based organizations to engage members of the public on a topic of local importance.

In announcing the Humanities Research for the Public Good initiative, CIC president Richard Ekman said, “Independent colleges are stronger when they share their resources with their communities – and so are their communities. These resources often include significant archival or library collections that can illuminate issues of real public importance. The institutions selected for the initiative, including Wofford College, will have much to share with their communities.”

Humanities Research for the Public Good is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.