When Jessie Ball duPont established the foundation that bears her name, she stipulated that it was to focus its giving on organizations that had received contributions from her in the five years from 1960 to 1964. Among those institutions were forty-two colleges, universities, and military academies, located primarily in the South. Each places a strong emphasis on teaching. Through years of collaboration with these schools, the Fund has come to know the special rewards that faculty derive from working closely with students. It has also come to know the challenges that such effort entails. Heavy teaching loads and administrative duties often leave little time for the intellectual renewal essential for effective performance in the classroom.
To help address this problem, the Fund in 1991 inaugurated, in conjunction with the National Humanities Center, a series of summer seminars for faculty from duPont Fund-eligible institutions. In 2013 participants will be able to choose from two seminars. These three-week residential programs are designed to give faculty the opportunity for intellectual renewal by exploring with leading scholars significant topics of interest to teachers in a variety of disciplines.
The forty-two eligible schools have been divided into two groups. In alternating years the schools in each group will be able to send two faculty members to the Summer Seminars.