James ’67 and Mary Ann Stell Harris ’70 made a gift of $1.4 million earlier this academic year to establish the Mary Ann and James R. Harris JanTerm Scholarship for international courses. The couple contributed an additional $100,000 to the Caren Clark Study Abroad Endowment for a total gift of $1.5 million in support of global experiences.
Mary Ann was a student when JanTerm was established and took part in three international courses with travel to Mexico City, London, and Greece. “I met famous authors, saw inspiring art and architecture, attended plays and concerts, and made lifelong friends,” she said. “Neither Jim nor I can imagine a more valuable legacy than making international travel accessible to students. We would like to see Austin College linked in people’s minds to travel opportunities.”
“A large part of Austin College’s mission is to foster analytical thought, and such exposure to other people and places forces us to examine our own culture and values in light of foreign ones, often giving us a stronger sense of who we are and what we believe in,” Mary Ann said.
In January, 146 Austin College students traveled abroad for intense, focused learning such as Spanish language immersion in Costa Rica and theatre studies in London.
Several JanTerm scholarships are offered but applicants far exceed availability as international travel costs remain outside the budget of many students. To discuss contributions to JanTerm travel scholarships, contact Gillian Grissom Locke ’07 at 903.813.2336.