The Japan Center for Michigan Universities has opened the first award cycle for the Melville Memorial Scholarship. Established through the efforts of JCMU faculty, staff and alumni at JCMU’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, the Melville Endowed Scholarship Fund recognizes Harold “Mel” Melville’s legacy of cross-cultural engagement by providing financial assistance to students participating in JCMU’s study abroad programs.
“We’re extremely excited to debut this new scholarship opportunity for JCMU students,” said JCMU Director Kate Simon. “At a time when financial aid resources have dwindled and need for alternative forms of financial aid is increasing, the Melville Memorial Scholarship will help open doors and improve access to study abroad for many JCMU students.”
A key member of the JCMU community in Japan, Melville is remembered for the difference he made in the lives of hundreds of young people and the example he set for cultural understanding. Serving in the faculty of economics at Shiga University in Hikone from 1975 until his passing in 2008, Melville was a tremendous resource for JCMU students and visiting faculty, sharing his enthusiasm for Japan and his familiarity of local history, customs and traditions. As a liaison for students, visiting scholars, faculty and staff at JCMU, he helped program participants engage in the local community in Hikone and make the transition from life in the United States to life in Japan.
“Helping students discover a new world by enabling them to study abroad is a fitting tribute to Professor Melville and his love of history and appreciation of our common humanity,” said Elizabeth Money, alumna from the JCMU 1992 Japanese Language and Culture Program.
JCMU will accept applications for the first Melville Memorial Scholarship award cycle beginning in March, with the first awards to be granted to students from Michigan’s 15 public universities participating in May and summer 2016 study abroad programs at JCMU in Japan.
These initial scholarship awards are the first step in diversifying JCMU’s financial aid support for Michigan’s students. JCMU will continue to collect contributions to the Melville Endowed Scholarship Fund to increase the number and amount of scholarships available for students.