Aug. 23, 2004

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Contact: John Scarffe, KU Endowment Association, (785) 832-7336.

Local newspaper family establishes KU Hall Center for the Humanities fellowship

LAWRENCE A Lawrence newspaper family has provided funds to create a new fellowship at the University of Kansas Hall Center for the Humanities.

Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Lawrence Journal-World and chairman of The World Company, and his wife, Pam C. Simons, provided funds to the Kansas University Endowment Association to establish the Simons Distinguished Citizen Fellowship. Their $350,000 gift will be partially matched through a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a total fund of $437,500.

The purpose of the annual fellowship is to bring to campus an individual interested in the humanities from a field such as health care, politics, journalism or the arts to study the area of their choice and participate in Hall Center events, said Victor Bailey, director of the Hall Center. The Simons fellow will study on campus for one semester.

"This fellowship is intended to bridge the gap between applied knowledge and the practices of research and scholarship," Bailey said. "The individual holding this fellowship will participate in the intellectual life of the university in order to improve his or her abilities in their chosen area of study."

Unlike fellowships designated for people pursuing an academic career, Simons fellows are not required to have a college degree. Fellows are to have five years of professional experience and must take a leave of absence from their current employer. They will receive a stipend to cover salary and housing, and fellows will have an office in the soon-to-be-opened new Hall Center building. Applications for the first fellowship will be accepted until January 31, 2005. The first fellow will be chosen for the 2005-06 academic year.

"The members of the Simons family are enthusiastic supporters of the University of Kansas and longtime exponents of the view that education is a lifelong experience," Bailey said. "They have helped us create a unique opportunity for the citizens working in the Midwest and have assisted the Hall Center in fulfilling its mission to bring humanities education to the public."

The Simons family has been in the newspaper business in Lawrence since 1891. The family's media company, the World Company, owns the Lawrence Journal-World, Sunflower Broadband and several area weekly newspapers. Dolph C. Simons Jr., a 1951 KU graduate in journalism, served as chairman of the KU Endowment board of trustees from 1994 until 2002 and is a member of the board's executive committee. He and Pam, who is a member of the Hall Center Advisory Board, have four children: Pam, Linda, Dolph III and Dan.

The Hall Center supports faculty research in the humanities, arts and social sciences, especially of an interdisciplinary kind, and sponsors programs that share faculty scholarship with a wider public audience.

More information about the fellowship may be obtained in three ways: by writing Bailey at the Hall Center for the Humanities, 1540 Sunflower Road, Lawrence, Kan., 66045; by e-mail at hallcenter@ku.edu, and through the Hall Center web site, www.hallcenter.ku.edu.

The gift from the Simons family counts toward the goal of KU First: Invest in Excellence, the largest fund-raising campaign in KU history. KU Endowment is conducting KU First on behalf of KU through 2004 to raise in excess of $600 million for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, capital projects and program support. KU Endowment serves as the independent, non-profit fund-raising and fund-management organization for KU. -- 30 --

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