The Humanities Institute Endowment

Depth of understanding. Intellectual flexibility. Imagination. Clarity in thinking and writing. The ability to make well-grounded and incisive choices. With these tools of the humanities, we are able to reflect on the past, scrutinize the present, and imagine the future. The humanities are essential to the modern research university as students prepare for informed, creative, empathetic, and self-critical roles in shaping the 21st century.

In 1999, UCSC established the The Humanities Institute (THI; previously, the Institute for Humanities Research) to ensure the continued excellence of the humanities as an integral and vital part of the campus’s mission of teaching, research, and service. Research in the humanities is fundamentally rooted in inquiry into the meaning of things (philosophy), in the analysis and interpretation of text (literature), and in exploration of the relationship of the present to the past and the future (history). At UC Santa Cruz, this work has always been an interdisciplinary endeavor that invigorates all departments and has helped make some of our programs, such as those in linguistics and the history of consciousness, among the best in the nation.

THI sponsors creative activities in interdisciplinary programs such as American studies, feminist studies, and history of consciousness, as well as traditional disciplines such as linguistics, philosophy, history, literature, languages, and writing. During its first year, piloted with special campus funds, THI provided more than $42,000 to support graduate student and faculty research, conference attendance, and dissertation fellowships. The institute’s successful inaugural year garnered a base of permanent campus funding and underscored the need for additional resources to achieve its goals. The UC Santa Cruz Foundation has made building THI endowment to leverage the campus’s contributions a top priority. Gifts to the endowment can be designated for specific activities or areas of study.