The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium has been awarded a three-year $1.25 million grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support new collaborations in the areas of globalization and language learning. The six consortium members are Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College.

The New York Six International Initiative will assist the schools in expanding the global aspects of their curricula and engaging students and faculty in the study of global issues, both at the home campuses and abroad.

Although each institution has independently made significant commitments to global education, the grant will provide additional opportunities while finding efficiencies through collaboration.

“This initiative will help bolster the global and international focus that is a key component of our strategic planning process at Colgate,” said Doug Hicks, provost and dean of faculty. “We look forward to working with other New York Six schools on new and exciting projects.”

Recently at Colgate there has been an increase in the strong commitment to study abroad opportunities, renovation of a classroom lab for foreign language learning, an exchange program with Xiamen University in China,  and a new focus for the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs, among other initiatives.

There are five components included in the New York Six initiative:

  • The New York Six Upstate-Global Collective: This initiative will support teaching and learning around academic themes that have historical roots in upstate New York but that also are of current consequence worldwide, such as sustainability and human rights.
  • Study Abroad Collaboration: The six institutions will share existing off-campus programs on a space-available basis, at each school’s discretion, in order to maximize efficiencies in programming. Students also will be encouraged to choose a study-abroad experience that will enable them to further explore the theme they are studying under the Upstate-Global Collective.
  • Language Learning Groups in Less-Frequently Taught Languages: Maintaining broad offerings in languages is at the heart of liberal-arts education, and the consortium will use grant funds to test ways to pool resources for more efficient and effective delivery of language instruction.
  • The New York Six International Student Community: By establishing a greater sense of community among international students across the six campuses, the consortium seeks to enhance their experiences while enabling faculty and students to benefit more fully from the unique perspective that international students provide.
  • The New York Six Connected Consortium Partnership (CCP): The CCP will build on existing and successful collaborations in information technology and the libraries to create both virtual and in-person learning communities. This will facilitate greater curricular exploration, innovative use of new technologies, and more robust teaching and research partnerships across the consortium.

“Our members have long recognized the importance of international perspectives in the liberal arts as preparation for virtually any career our students may pursue,” stated Amy Cronin, executive director of the New York Six. “At the same time, the schools are committed to operating in the most cost-effective manner possible, and collaboration in areas related to global education is just one example of the ways we are finding savings and efficiencies across the consortium. The extraordinary support of the Mellon Foundation will advance our academic and operating partnerships significantly.”

(For more information, contact Cronin at or 607-351-5602.)