With a challenge grant from the NEH, Washington College established the nationally-recognized C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. The challenge grant, which the college leveraged to raise an additional $1,875,000, allowed it to purchase, renovate, and furnish a historic house; purchase library resources; and create an endowment to support fellowships, research, and travel. The Starr Center now supports the study and dissemination, through writing, of American history in all its diversity and complexity. It bridges the divide between academic scholarship and public life, hosting an array of lectures and other events that put prominent American historians in dialogue with the community. The Starr Center also provides student internship opportunities in prominent cultural institutions such as the Constitution Center and the Smithsonian. The Center’s fellowships support American historians as they pursue research at the Starr Center, and Starr Center Fellows have produced a number of notable books, including Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Build America; Betsy Ross and the Making of America, and The Internal Enemy: Slavery and the War in Virginia, 1772–1832, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History.
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