Mellon Foundation humanities grant honors Philip Lewis

Philip Lewis
Jason Koski/University Photography
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $275,000 in honor of Philip Lewis, former dean of of the College of Arts and Science, who is retiring from the foundation.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $275,000 to Cornell University in honor of Mellon Vice President Philip E. Lewis on his retirement from the foundation. The Society for the Humanities will receive $250,000 for improvements to the A.D. White House and Cornell University Library will receive $25,000 for acquisitions.

“The grant reflects Phil’s dedication to the humanities and the liberal arts,” said Gretchen Ritter, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He is one of the country’s leading authorities in higher education administration, as well as a distinguished scholar of French literature. This is an honor he richly deserves.”

The Mellon grant will enable the Society for the Humanities to improve its facilities for guest lecturers and its common spaces used for teaching and public events, said Director Timothy Murray. “The society is deeply honored to have been singled out by Phil for this tremendous gift in acknowledgement of his service, especially since a part of Phil’s broad portfolio at Mellon involved the encouragement and administration of Mellon grants to humanities centers.”

The library’s portion of the grant will be used to obtain a major collection of historical primary source materials in digitized form, Gale’s “The Making of the Modern World, I & II.” The collection includes full-text and full-page-image access to historical economics books and journals published between 1450 and 1914.

“This digital collection  will be an important resource for scholars and students in a range of disciplines, including political science, history, sociology, and cultural and literary studies,” said University Librarian Anne Kenney. “We are very grateful to the Mellon Foundation and to Phil for making this possible.”

Lewis, professor emeritus of Romance studies, joined the Cornell faculty in 1968 and served in numerous leadership positions, including dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1996 to 2003, before his Mellon appointment in 2007.

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