Luce Foundation, marking 75th anniversary, awards major grant to Jackson Institute

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James Levinsohn, director of the Jackson Institute, shown here teaching a class, says the Luce Foundation grant will allow the institute to "to make the most of opportunities as they arise." (Photo by Michael Marsland)

Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs has received a commitment of $2.5 million from the Henry Luce Foundation, enabling the institute’s director, James Levinsohn, to augment resources for priorities of the institute.

The special grant is part of the Luce Foundation’s agenda for celebrating its 75th anniversary by honoring the legacy of its founder, Henry R. Luce ’20.

The grant establishes the Henry R. Luce Director’s Fund in the Jackson Institute and will be used to support three of the institute’s core initiatives:  its Senior Fellows Program; financial aid for graduate students in the Master’s in International Affairs program; and capstone projects of Yale College seniors in the new global affairs major.

“A gift of this magnitude, timing, and flexibility is phenomenal,” said Levinsohn, who is also the Charles W. Goodyear Professor in Global Affairs. “It comes just as several programs at Jackson are getting started, its configuration allows the institute to make the most of opportunities as they arise, and the magnitude affords us the chance to make some very significant investments in new programs and student recruitment.”

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs was established in April 2009 with a gift from John W. ’67 and Susan G. Jackson, and opened its doors to students in fall 2010. The institute is a principal driver of Yale’s efforts to internationalize its teaching curriculum, to attract the most talented students and scholars to Yale from around the world, and to deepen the University’s engagement abroad.

The institute’s Senior Fellows Program brings distinguished leaders to campus to teach and share their decades of international affairs experience in courses across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including military and government service, the diplomatic corps, global business, and NGOs. The current cohort of senior fellows includes General Stanley McChrystal; Ana Palacio, former foreign minister of Spain; and Stephen Roach, who has headed Morgan Stanley’s Asia division. 

Students in the Master’s in International Relations Program will be eligible for fellowships from the new grant. Those selected for tuition support and stipends will be recognized as Henry R. Luce Fellows.

The Jackson Institute’s newly created Global Affairs major selected its first cohort of 50 sophomores in spring 2011 from a highly competitive field of applicants. During their senior year, these students will work in faculty-supervised teams to complete “capstone projects” addressing specific problems of economic development and international security for clients in government, NGOs, and the private sector. 

As part of its anniversary celebration, the Luce Foundation plans to award $10 million in grants over two years to foster innovation in the areas of interest that the foundation has steadfastly pursued.

“As the Henry Luce Foundation marks 75 years of philanthropy, we are pleased to return to Yale — the alma mater of our founder, Henry R. Luce — with the first grant of a special 75th anniversary initiative,” said Michael Gilligan, foundation president. “By establishing the Director’s Fund at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, we recognize the legacy of Henry R. Luce, our foundation’s long relationship with the University, and our shared commitment to increasing Americans’ international understanding.”

The more than 70 grants and gifts Yale has received from the Luce Foundation include commitments for construction and maintenance of Henry R. Luce Hall, the home of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies, as well as a Director’s Fund for the MacMillan Center; critical early support for Yale Law School’s China Law Center; funds for initiatives of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies on industrial ecology in Asia and environmentally sustainable architecture; and multiple grants to Yale Divinity School and the Yale University Art Gallery. 

Luce Hall
Yale has been the recipient of dozens of grants from the Henry Luce Foundation over the past five decades, which in the aggregate total almost $30 million. Perhaps the most prominent manifestation of the foundation’s generosity is Yale’s Henry R. Luce Hall on Hillhouse Avenue, which houses the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center International and Area Studies. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

“Time and again — at pivotal moments — the Luce Foundation has stepped forward to invest in Yale in ways that have inspired some of our most innovative and far-reaching initiatives,” said President Richard C. Levin. “I am grateful to the Luce Foundation for this significant commitment to the Jackson Institute, and I fully expect that its long-term impact will equal that of Luce’s most noteworthy contributions.”

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by its namesake, who was co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time magazine and founder of Life magazine. Building on the values of four generations of the Luce family, the foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious, and art communities. More information on the Luce Foundation can be found on its website.

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