Colgate Professor Earns Ninth NEH Teaching Grant

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George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History Graham Hodges is the recipient of a new National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) teaching grant to share his abolition and Underground Railroad historical expertise with middle school and high school teachers from across the country.

This year marks Hodges’ ninth selection for the competitive funding that will bring 25 teachers to Hamilton, N.Y., in July, 2024. Those teachers, in turn, will bring what they learn back to their respective schools to share with other teachers within their districts. 

“This is one of the NEH’s many grant programs aimed at bringing school teachers, and graduate students who intend to teach, someplace to study with a professor about a particular subject,” Hodges said. “It’s a very good program, and a good way for our tax dollars to be spent. The teachers really like it. Over the years we’ve drawn a real national audience.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency created in 1965, and is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Since its inception, the NEH has funded more than 64,000 grants and programs in support of the humanities in the United States. 

The gathering in Hamilton is also a great way to spread awareness of Colgate, Hodges said, as he typically hosts a gathering the night before the course. Last year, visiting teachers heard from Provost and Dean of the Faculty Lesleigh Cushing and from Gary Ross, the Jones and Wood Family Vice President for admission and financial aid. 

“They go back and tell their students that Colgate is a great place to be,” Hodges said. “I know of at least one student who came to Colgate from Arizona because their teacher was in the NEH program 10 years ago.”