William Lankford Memorial Fund Grants

Thanks to the generosity of a COL alumnus, a fund exists to assist currently enrolled COL students who have demonstrated financial needs.  A limited number of small grants can be made in any given academic year.  Lankford grants are intended to supplement other sources of funding.

Eligible Academic Purposes:

  1. Expenses incurred in the preparation of senior thesis or senior essay projects (e.g.: travel necessary for research).
  2. Expenses incurred for travel or other requirements of programs for study abroad, provided such expenses are not covered either by the pertinent academic program or by grants from the Office of International Studies at Wesleyan.
  3. Please note that the funds may not be used to acquire new skills - for example learning a language or an artistic technique - at summer training programs and similar institutions.

Application process:

  1. Lankford grants are made at the discretion of the Director of the College of Letters upon receipt of a written application stating academic purpose, proposed budget, and other sources of funding.
  2. There are 2 allocations from available funds during the academic year, one each semester. Deadlines for applications: October 30 and April 1.

COL Micro-Grants

Students on financial aid who cannot afford their required text books or coursepacks for a COL course are eligible for a COL Micro-Grant to cover these expenses. To apply for a micro-grant, please email your COL instructor or advisor and briefly explain your situation and your needs. This is not a competitive grant. The COL is committed to ensuring its students' uninterrupted access to their educational needs.  

Summer Language Learning Grants

Thanks to the generosity of a COL Alumnus, we are pleased to offer a Summer Language Learning Grant. To graduate from the COL all majors must satisfy a foreign language exit requirement that involves a semester-long study abroad experience in their junior-year spring semester.  (Exceptions are granted by petition for student athletes and international students.)

Students in the COL typically have to be at a certain level of language learning by their junior year to apply to Wesleyan’s approved study abroad programs.  Most of these programs have language proficiency requirements.  To support members of each incoming class without this required level of language learning or those who need additional language instruction, the COL will provide language immersion learning grants to students in financial need.  Each grant will cover all the costs of an immersion program in the student’s chosen foreign language of study.  While students will generally be expected to attend the program in the summer before their sophomore year, funds will also be available for students in financial need between their sophomore year and junior year.

The level of foreign language learning a student requires to graduate from the COL generally depends on where they wish to study abroad.  If, for instance, you qualify for this grant and plan to study abroad next year in France, Spain, or Italy, you may use the funds to attend a language immersion program this coming summer that provides remedial instruction to get you on pace to study abroad in those countries.  Alternatively, if you’d like to begin a new language from scratch like German, Hebrew, Russian, Greek, or Latin, there are a number of high-quality summer immersion programs that will put you at a level to continue your study of those languages abroad in your junior year.

Your COL advisor can help you find a summer immersion program that is supported by this grant. Students who are awarded this grant must commit to continuing their language of study upon returning to Wesleyan in their sophomore and junior years.

To apply for this grant, please provide the following:

  1. The foreign language you wish to study, details of the proposed immersion program you wish to attend, and the total cost (tuition and board) of attending the program.
  2. Your current level of proficiency in the language (list “none” if you will start from scratch).
  3. A statement of financial need.
  4. An explanation of (i) how the proposed program will provide you with the level of language learning required to study abroad in the spring of your junior year and (ii) how the proposed program will enable you to satisfy the COL’s foreign language exit requirement by the time of your graduation.

Applications should be sent to the COL Director ( and Christine Tappe ( at the time you declare the COL major.  If you have any questions about the application process, feel free to address them to the COL Director.

The Echart Prize

Every year, the COL is pleased to award the Kevin Echart Memorial Prize to the graduating College of Letters senior who best exemplifies the intellectual curiosity and range, the pleasure of colloquy, the capacity for admiration and skepticism, and the moral seriousness and love of books that we honored in our late colleague and seek to foster in the students of the College of Letters. There is no application for the award which is voted by the faculty. 

The Khachig Tölölyan Prize for the Study of Diasporas & Transnationalism

The Fund was established by Professor Bruce Greenwald, now of the Columbia Business School and formerly a professor of economics at Wesleyan, to support undergraduate research in areas of scholarship pioneered by his colleague and friend, Professor Khachig Tölölyan.

The Fund supports a monetary prize for second-semester juniors of up to $3,000 to be used to buy the successful applicant some free time in the summer before senior year to start research on Honors theses on particular topics described below.  It may also be used to facilitate research travel to an archive relevant to the thesis. Very rarely, it may support a student in an internship that the selection committee is convinced will contribute directly to the thesis.

Candidates must be juniors enrolled full time at Wesleyan or a Wesleyan program overseas who plan to write an Honors thesis or its equivalent (a performance, an exhibit) in any Department of the Humanities and the Arts (Division I), the Social Sciences (Division II), or in interdisciplinary Programs that have a Humanities department as a participant. Any project proposal emanating from these departments may be considered at the discretion of the Committee, as long as the thesis deals with topics closely related to certain areas in which Professor Tölölyan has conducted his teaching and scholarship -- diasporas, transnational formations and activities, and the implications of globalization for communities of dispersion.

Topics that exemplify but do not exhaust all possible cases include the study of:

Past and present events and processes that lead to dispersion and the subsequent creation of the social formations variously known as "diasporas," "transnational communities" and "transnational social fields";

All forms of past and contemporary cultural production by artists and scholars living and working in diasporic and transnational communities;

Representational practices of such diasporic communities in the spheres of social, religious, political and cultural life;

The effects of dispersion either on the homelands from which the new communities emigrate, or on the new societies and "host-lands" where they settle;

The trajectory, problems and effects of return migration by diasporas to homelands;

Discourses, practices, performances and institutions that motivate, organize, and perpetuate these diasporic formations, such as aesthetic and political ideology, whether deployed in high art, popular culture, social practices, or in forms of historiography and academic research;

Religious, social, educational, and political activities, ranging from lobbying and the creation of digital diasporic communities to the creation of NGOs that link diasporas to each other and the homeland, and to diasporic involvement in cross-border violence and conflicts.

Application period opens March 15, 2024

An application consists of:

  1. A proposal for or description of a senior thesis, 1,000-1,500 words in length.
  2. An informal academic transcript.
  3. A proposed budget
  4. Two letters of recommendation from Wesleyan faculty, one of whom must be the probable supervisor of the Honors thesis. If the supervisor has not yet been determined, two letters from instructors familiar with the student's work in fields relevant to the project will suffice. Faculty Recommendations should be sent via email by April 5, 2024 to:

Proposals are due by 5 PM, Friday, April 5, 2024. The decision is usually made within two weeks.

Click Here to submit your application for The Khachig Tölölyan Fund.

Questions can be directed to