Willamette Receives $500,000 For Arts and Technology Minor

Willamette University has received a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop an interdisciplinary minor in arts and technology focused on music and computer graphics.

"We are honored by this support from the Keck Foundation," said Carol Long, dean of Willamette's College of Liberal Arts. "It will enable us to develop our current digital music and computer graphics programs to involve more faculty and serve more students through introductory and advanced courses. The grant will also help us integrate technology into the liberal arts and help faculty from different disciplines collaborate as researchers, artists, scholars and teachers."

In its current pilot stage, the minor involves two faculty and 30 students per year. Over the next three years, the program will become fully integrated and involve at least 15 faculty and more than 150 students with interest in music, computer science, the visual arts, the performing arts, media studies and creative writing.

The Keck gift will allow Willamette to purchase new computers, renovate the music lab, upgrade the current computer graphics and digital art labs and install a new recording studio. An advanced course in digital music and animation will be expanded and a creative writing/film professor and a visual artist will be added. As more faculty representing different disciplines are added, courses will be modified and new courses created. Once the interdisciplinary arts and technology minor is established, students and faculty alike will present their work at national conferences.

Willamette is recognized as a leader in the use of technology in pedagogy. In addition to the grant from the Keck foundation, the University has received funding from the Mellon Foundation, Murdock Charitable Trust and the U.S. Department of Education to support a variety of technology-based initiatives.

Established in 1954, the W.M. Keck Foundation supports programs designed to promote innovative instruction and research at leading liberal arts colleges across the nation.