A partnership between West Virginia University and the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute of China is being enhanced with a $350,000 gift from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The three-year grant will expand exchange opportunities for students and faculty, provide opportunities for public display of work resulting from exchange activities and help promote a greater awareness of Chinese culture both on and off campus.

We are grateful for the generosity shown by the Luce Foundation in supporting this effort, WVU President Mike Garrison said.This gift will enable the University to take a big step forward in sharing the many benefits of the program with more people not only in West Virginia, but across the United States and in China.

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The foundation, based in New York, seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.

The partnership between WVU and Jingdezhen, formed in 1994, has been led by Bob Anderson, ceramics professor in WVU s College of Creative Arts.

This funding from the Luce Foundation will greatly enhance the successful partnership between our institutions,Anderson said.Weve been able to create a unique program that benefits ceramic artists in China and the United States, and the grant will help us continue to grow the program.

The WVU Division of Art has offered a comprehensive summer study program in ceramics at Jingdezhen since 1995, and in 2004, it expanded the partnership to include a fall semester program that provides advanced undergraduate, graduate and professional-level studies in ceramics, including basic language, culture and Chinese ceramic art history. Also as part of the program, WVU maintains collaborative studio space in Jingdezhen of more than 16,000 square feet available to American and Chinese students and faculty.

Students studying in the program not only come from WVU , but from art programs across the United States and Canada,Anderson said.They have the opportunity to work with faculty from Jingdezhen as well as local Chinese artisans. The program also includes bringing Chinese students and visiting artists to WVU . This grant will enable us to expand the number of exchange opportunities for both students and faculty.

Jingdezhen is considered to be Chinas finest ceramics art and design school, and WVU s ceramics program is the only one in the United States offering this kind of study in China.

Anderson said the grant also will enable the program to provide access to Chinese culture and art to a larger American audience through outreach and exhibitions of WVU -Jingdezhen partnership participants, enhance the current summer and fall experiences with activities in the spring and enrich the WVU community through campus coordination of China-related programs.

The awarding of this grant speaks so very highly of Bob Andersons work on this project,said Bernie Schultz, dean of WVU s College of Creative Arts.He has built this partnership into one thats internationally recognized, and the additional funding will help to bring it to new levels of academic and artistic excellence. I cannot express in words how grateful the College of Creative Arts is to the Henry Luce Foundation for opening up such wonderful opportunities for our students and faculty.

The grant is being made through the WVU Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation that generates and provides support for WVU .