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Giving Opportunities

How to Make a Gift to Asian Language and Cultures


The vast continent of Asia is home to the majority of the world’s population and to cultures with an ancient past and a vibrant present. The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures is an internationally renowned center for the exploration of the humanities of Asia. Students are invited to cross the boundaries of nations and of disciplines to explore the literature, film, language, religion, music, art, and history of this critical region to develop two vital qualities: deep local knowledge and broad global perspectives. The department offers instruction in the cultures and languages of Asia (including Chinese, Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Javanese, Korean, Mongolian, Pali, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, and Vietnamese) so that our students may be enriched by the treasures of the past and participate in the exchanges of the future.



China is the world’s most populous nation, followed by India. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. The religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Shinto all began in Asia. Asia is the source of some of the most enduring works of art and literature in history, as well as some of the most current cultural forms, from Hindi film music to Hong Kong action films to K-Pop. While our students have become scholars of Japanese poetry and of Chinese Buddhism, they have also gained the knowledge and skills to become leading Asia specialists, as well as to build careers in communications, international banking and law, and government service.



The excellence of our department depends upon the generosity of our donors. In one sense, Asia is next door, but it is also far away—and our ability to take our students to Asia for study and to bring Asian scholars, writers, and artists to Ann Arbor is crucial to our success. We are constantly striving to build on existing strengths and to open new realms of study.


Department Strategic Fund

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures is among the top area studies programs in the nation. Investing in the strategic fund helps us continue the Department’s tradition of excellence. Gifts to this fund make it possible to enhance the research and training of our undergraduate and graduate students, and to recruit, retain and support our exceptional faculty. The strategic fund also provides resources for newly emerging and focused initiatives, including lecture series, conferences, and innovative, engaged learning in the classroom. Your support will be an endorsement of our efforts!


Named Endowed Professorship

Support to bring new faculty to the department in the next five years is crucial, especially in the face of increasing budget cuts and home and competition for top faculty worldwide. Outstanding faculty are central to the continuing quality of the program and ongoing leadership of the department. A Named Endowed Professorship will serve as a powerful recruitment tool for distinguished scholars.


Endowed Lectureships in Asian Languages

ALC has one of the most distinguished language programs in the country, and these diverse offerings provide our students with unparalleled opportunities to explore broadly and deeply the myriad cultures of Asia. The department seeks endowments for language lectureships that will help preserve these rare resources in perpetuity for our students. Although Title VI funding from the U.S. Department of Education had enabled us to offer this training in the past, Congressional budget cuts have eliminated funding for many languages. We are seeking language lectureships in:

• Punjabi

• Hindi

• Tamil

• Urdu

• Thai

• Indonesian

• Vietnamese

• Filipino

• Tibetan


Endowed Postdoctorates for Ph.D. Graduates

Postdoctorate positions provide important opportunities for recent Ph.D. graduates to research, write, and teach in a vibrant intellectual environment. Young scholars can deepen and expand their area of expertise while also exposing undergraduates to excellent instructions. Given the ongoing challenges of the academic job market, these positions provide critical time and experience to bright and talented scholars as the beginning of their careers.


Endowed Graduate Student Fellowships

Our status as a leading center for the study of Asian languages and cultures draws the best applicants in the field to our program. The ability to recruit top students to Ann Arbor is linked to the competitiveness of our student funding packages, as well as our ability to give them time to immerse themselves in study. Fellowships help offset the marked difference between the funding packages that heavily endowed private institutions are able to offer their prospective graduate students and those available from a large, public institution like U-M. An endowed graduate fellowship would also expand our cohort of Ph.D. students, enriching our graduate seminars and strengthening our intellectual community.


Undergraduate Research Support

Our undergraduate students become experts in the regional languages and cultures of Asia. They regularly publish their original research in academic journals and win awards for their linguistic mastery. We are always looking for new opportunities to support their talent and ambition with the necessary resources, be that travel in Asia or extended research in archives. Donations to our undergraduate research fund are used to support language study and research in Asia, fund awards for exceptional writing and translation, and sponsor co-curricular activities on campus related to Asian languages and cultures, such as guest speakers, discussion groups, panels, performances, student publications, exhibits, film screenings, and more.


For more information, please contact Julianne Purcell: