Flexible Grant Program Fuels Creative Thinking
Ask around campus for a definition of the University of Baltimore Foundation’s Fund for Excellence, and you can take your pick of answers.
In the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, it’s defined as new equipment to give faculty and student researchers in the Environmental Sustainability and Human Ecology program precise water-quality readings. And then it’s defined again as an innovative course on civil rights and Martin Luther King Jr., taught by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch.
In UB’s Career and Professional Development Center, it entails the launch of Be Ready workshops to help students hone vital professional development skills.
In short, it depends on whom you ask. But the idea behind the Fund for Excellence grant program, created in 2012, is to provide UB faculty and staff with as much as $25,000 in supplemental funding to establish new initiatives, enhance existing programs and support one-time projects throughout the University. In its two years of existence, the fund already has provided 26 grants throughout each of UB’s four schools and colleges as well as to several administrative and student-support offices.
“Fund for Excellence grants give UB’s faculty and staff the ability to create experiential opportunities for teaching and learning,” says Marie Van Deusen, J.D. ’89, chair of the Fund for Excellence Committee, which reviews proposals and ultimately awards the grants. “It allows them the freedom to nurture new ideas and grow programs outside of their operating budgets. I have been impressed with the quality and variety of the program proposals and enjoy seeing the funded programs at work.” Projects also include a global field studies program, the Savor UB mentoring program, a cloud-computing project and a publication on the history of women lawyers in Maryland.
The Fund for Excellence is the direct result of annual contributions from alumni and friends. “We have [numerous] tangible examples of how private donations directly support UB’s faculty and students,” Van Deusen says. “Our graduates and partners can feel good knowing that their donations are hard at work and benefiting our students.”
For more information about the Fund for Excellence, contact the Office of Annual Giving at 410.837.6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.