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Berea College has long enjoyed very strong humanities programs, and its committed faculty is dedicated to the transformative education of the students it serves. Berea College ranks in the top 10% of 1,548 colleges and universities as the baccalaureate origin of students who obtain the PhD. According to a recent analysis by the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) organization, Berea College is in the top 2.5% of colleges and universities for “beating the odds” for PhD production based on students’ entering ACT scores. In the last four years, the college has hired three faculty—two in English and one in history—who bring great experience in, and knowledge of, the digital humanities. One of these faculty recently was awarded a Humanities Writ Large fellowship at Duke, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Berea College is a liberal arts school and was the first coeducational and interracial college in the southern United States. Based in a rural community not far from Lexington, Kentucky, Berea has never charged its students tuition, and advances a liberal arts philosophy with a strong emphasis on service learning.

Fisk University, founded in 1866 shortly after the end of the Civil War, is a historically black university and the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville. Within the humanities, Fisk offers a range of disciplines that examine human behavior from different perspectives and answer questions about our thoughts, actions, and interactions. Approximately 25 percent of the entering students are the first-generation of their families to pursue a higher education. Vanderbilt and Fisk are already partners in an innovative diversity pipeline program: the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD. Bridge Program, which focuses on improving demographic representation in STEM fields.

Tennessee State University (TSU) is a historically black public university set in urban Nashville. It has over 8,000 students and offers degrees in a broad range of disciplines. Tennessee State University’s special emphases in humanities and liberal arts focus in two areas: (1) an interest in global perspectives on civil rights and social justice issues; and (2) perspectives on African and African American historical and cultural life. In both areas, the faculty have developed publications, panel discussions, new courses, and interdisciplinary seminars. Also, faculty who have studied and written on global perspectives on civil rights and justice have developed and led study abroad courses to places such as South Africa, Egypt, Germany, and Sri Lanka. At the same time, the faculty pursue other more traditional studies in areas including medieval and early British and American literature and history.

Tougaloo College is a historically black private liberal arts college with just under 1,000 students. It is located in the northernmost part of Jackson, Mississippi, and continues its time-honored tradition of academic excellence and social responsibility. Humanistic disciplines at Tougaloo College include BA programs in art, English, the Interdisciplinary Career Oriented Humanities major, mass communications, and history, and an associate’s degree program in religious studies. The Tougaloo faculty regularly receive national and international recognition for their research and creative scholarly work, and Tougaloo students are closely mentored in an environment of academic and social engagement. Each spring, the Tougaloo Division of the Humanities produces a week-long Humanities Festival, featuring discussions, demonstrations, concerts, exhibitions, dance, and dramatic performances coordinated around a central theme. Each summer, the Tougaloo Art Colony features a week-long intensive arts experience provided by nationally known artists and lecturers.

Vanderbilt University is a research university with a distinguished record in the humanities and a strong dedication to graduate education. The Warren Center Graduate Fellows program provides experience in strategic professional development for graduate students in the humanities. The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy offers an opportunity to develop new resources in the arts and public humanities. These programs are coupled with significant recent investments in the Digital Humanities Center, humanities faculty, graduate education, and undergraduate education—including more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Humanistic research and teaching in all forms thrive on the Vanderbilt campus.