University of Pittsburgh
May 18, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 19 -- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has awarded the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh a two-year, $200,000 general support grant, CLAS Director Billie R. DeWalt announced today.

According to DeWalt, the grant will enhance the long-term strength and stability of the 35-year-old Center and its programs; help to attract the brightest students and expert scholars to the University of Pittsburgh; and provide enhanced opportunities for increased interaction, collaboration, and exchange with Latin America and the Caribbean.

CLAS is ranked as one of the most outstanding programs of its kind in the nation, designated as a National Resource Center (NRC) on Latin America by the U.S. Department of Education. The Center's Eduardo Lozano Latin American Library Collection is among the top ten in the U.S. and includes exceptional resources on Bolivia, Cuba, Argentina and Brazil. The Center also maintains cooperative exchange agreements with more than 65 universities and institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"The Center for Latin American Studies at Pitt is at a pivotal juncture in its existence," said DeWalt. "Having achieved extraordinary success in a relatively short time, the Center must now build upon its past and current accomplishments and rise to a new level of excellence in education, research and community outreach. This grant will help us to do that."

According to DeWalt, the Hewlett Foundation grant will support faculty and graduate student field research, visits by scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean, collaborative conferences, faculty and student travel to professional meetings, and fellowship support for a graduate student in Latin American Studies.

"Equally important, the activities supported by the Hewlett Foundation will have significant and positive impact on diverse populations," said DeWalt. "Not only will they benefit faculty and students at numerous universities besides Pitt, but they will serve as vehicles for the discussion, implementation and evaluation of a wide range of educational, policy and business initiatives for both public and private sector Latin American institutions."