Corporate & Foundation Grants

Generous gifts from Wellesley’s corporate and foundation partners help to advance institutional priorities—from scholarships funds and faculty support, to forward-thinking initiatives and modern facilities for science, the arts and new media, sustainability, and global affairs.

The following list provides a sample of recent institutional grants of $50,000 or greater awarded to Wellesley College. For more information, contact Karen Ossen, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, at 781.283.2261 or

Beckman Scholars Program

In 2013, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation awarded Wellesley $77,200 to support the college’s commitment to quality undergraduate research. The grant will fund the four students named as Beckman Scholars over a period of three years, with each student receiving $19,300 to perform research activities over one summer, the academic year and the following summer. The funding will apply to research in the fields of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Neuroscience. The Beckman Scholars Program will enable Wellesley to further its students’ participation and involvement in advanced faculty research and enrichment opportunities.

Calderwood Charitable Foundation

In 2012, the Calderwood Charitable Foundation awarded Wellesley $1,685,000 for the Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing Program. This grant will support the program for five years, beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year. These seminars are advanced, writing-intensive courses targeted at juniors and seniors that engage and challenge students to integrate their knowledge from prior courses and communicate this information to a larger audience. The seminars emphasize public writing, or the ability to translate complex arguments and professional jargon to the general public. They also encourage a more collaborative experience for students with input from their fellow classmates.

Sherman Fairchild Foundation

In 2013, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation awarded Wellesley $247,500 to support fifteen rising sophomores or juniors over the next three years, with preference for students from groups who have been underrepresented in the sciences. Through this grant, these students will receive stipends of $5,500 each as a part of Wellesley’s Summer Science Research Program. By enabling students to conduct undergraduate research in the sciences, Wellesley is working to retain students in STEM disciplines and prepare more young women scientists in the STEM workforce.

In 2014, the Foundation awarded Wellesley $300,000 for the Sherman Fairchild Pilot Bridge Program. The grant will be used to strengthen and expand programs that support underrepresented students pursuing science and STEM opportunities at Wellesley. By enhancing programs such as first-year seminars, laboratory apprenticeships, and the Sophomore Early Research Program, Wellesley will continue to promote the participation of underrepresented students in STEM with the aim increasing the diversity of both STEM majors and non-majors. Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

In 2014, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded Wellesley a planning grant of $50,000 through the Center’s 2014 Competitive Capital Program. The grant will support planning for the College’s Science Center renovation project. Enhancements to the Science Center will help ensure that the next generation of Wellesley scientists has the tools and resources they need to thrive in their chosen path.

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

Announced in September 2012, Wellesley College is one of ten higher education institutions to partner with The MasterCard Foundation in the launch of a $500 million education initiative that will provide talented, economically-disadvantaged students from developing countries—particularly from Africa—with comprehensive support for quality and relevant secondary and university education.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

In June 2013, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Wellesley $800,000 to support curriculum development and enhancement. The grant will support the linking of select first-year seminars and Writing Program courses to enhance the first-year academic experience. It will also support the introduction of new interdisciplinary team-taught courses open to all students. The courses will enable students to investigate emerging areas of study. Finally, the grant will support faculty workshops in new technologies and media related to the development of these new first-year and team-taught courses. Professional development in the latest technologies will enhance student-faculty research, both during the academic year and in the summer. In 2014, the Mellon Foundation awarded Wellesley with three major grants.

First, the Foundation awarded Wellesley with $800,000 for the Blended Learning Program, designed to support the faculty’s familiarity with blended learning, digital research, and virtual classrooms. Through this grant, faculty will be able to enhance real-time instruction in the traditional classroom setting by incorporating digital resources into their teaching.

Second, the Foundation awarded Wellesley $317,000 for the renewal of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program for the next four years. Through this grant, Wellesley will enable a greater number of alumnae Fellows to go on to pursue PhDs and academic careers, thereby helping to address the shortage of faculty of color in America’s institutions of higher education.

Third, the Foundation awarded a planning grant of $55,000 in support of the partnership between Wellesley and Davidson College in their collaboration on a project entitled “Leveraging Online Learning to Enhance Liberal Arts Education.” The grant enables Wellesley and Davidson, the first two liberal arts colleges to join the online venture edX, to engage faculty, technology staff and administrators in shared discussions of ideas and lessons learned from their respective engagements in massive online open courses (MOOCs), as well as experiment with joint courses held simultaneously on both campuses.

National Collegiate Athletics Association Division III

In 2014, the NCAA awarded $128,766 to Wellesley for the Division III Strategic Alliance Matching Grant, which helps enable the College to increase the capacity of its Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics Department. This grant supports Wellesley’s commitment to enhancing gender and ethnic diversity and inclusion within its athletics administrative staff.

Bernard Osher Foundation

In April 2011, the Bernard Osher Foundation awarded Wellesley a gift of $1 million to endow the Osher Reentry Scholars Program, which provides scholarship support for students enrolled in the Elizabeth Kaiser Davis Degree Program.