The University of Delaware has announced a $1 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to boost stipends to students in the university's graduate arts conservation program, one of only five such programs in North America. The foundation has pledged an additional $275,000 for immediate stipend support.
The grant, which must be matched by the university by August 1, 2017, will enable the program to offer stipends averaging $20,500 per student. Each year, the university receives nearly one hundred applications for the ten positions in the program. Prerequisites include extensive coursework in chemistry, studio art, art history, anthropology, and at least four hundred hours of conservation experience.
"It is a highly competitive program, and we ask a lot from our applicants," said Debra Hess Norris, Unidel Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts. "In return, we give them the practical experience, critical-thinking skills, and experience in public and global engagement they'll need to be successful in the field, now and in the future."