Hilliard Endowment

2023-2024 Application Deadlines
September 8, November 9, January 29, March 29

History and Purpose

The College of Liberal Arts Hilliard Endowment provides support to bring scholars in the humanities and related fields to campus for public appearances. The Hilliard Endowment was established in 1972 from the estate of Emily Hilliard. The endowment was originally named the Albert and Emily Hilliard Chair in the Humanities. Hilliard's husband, Albert, was a regent of the university an attorney, and a leader in the Democratic party.

Since its inception the endowment has made it possible to bring many distinguished scholars and contributors to the arts and humanities to the University of Nevada, Reno campus. These visitors have included poets Billy Collins and Allen Ginsberg; writers John Balaban, Hayden Carruth, Dorianne Laux, John Nichols, Robert Pinsky, Ilan Stavans, and Elena Poniatowska; historians William Beezley, Geoffrey Eley, and Hugh Trevor-Roper; artist Wendy Ewald; photographer Galen Rowell; and Basque scholar Juan Avalle-Arce. The Endowment also has occasionally partnered with other humanities organizations to bring speakers to Reno.


The College of Liberal Arts Hilliard Endowment funds residencies by visiting scholars of both short-term (e.g., one or two days) and longer-term duration. In the scope of the Hilliard Endowment, the humanities are broadly interpreted to permit the fund to bring to the University of Nevada, Reno community individuals or groups whose work enriches the human experience, particularly work that is involved with issues vital to the humanities. Work in other disciplines, so long as it relates in some direct way to the humanities, may qualify for funding. Hilliard visitors may be engaged in scholarly or creative endeavors, and may include but are not limited to academics, creative artists, critics, scientists and inventors.

Visitors must give one or more public lectures while in residency. It is desirable that they also involve themselves with other campus activities, such as participation in classes and meeting with students and faculty on a more informal basis. The goal of their visit to the university is to enrich academic programs and contribute to the university's larger mission and the campus's intellectual life.

The Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee may consider requests in support of conferences that emphasize the humanities or demonstrate a humanistic approach to their topic, particularly if sponsored by CLA departments or local organizations that regularly partner with CLA units. Preference will be given for funding of major speaking events such as keynote addresses, which must be open to members of the university community.

An application from the sponsoring entity is required, as is a follow-up report.

Application Procedure

To apply for a grant from the Hilliard Endowment, send a letter to the Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee in care of the CLA Dean's Office along with the scholar's vita, a photo of the scholar if available (for publicity purposes) and any other relevant supplementary material. All application materials should be submitted together in one document as single PDF file.

The letter should include the following materials:

  • a one-paragraph summary of the scholar's background and expertise in the humanities
  • a detailed description of all activities planned during the residency, including number and type of planned events, projected audience size for each event, type of audience for each event (e.g., students, faculty, members of a particular class plus additional members of the university community, etc.)
  • an itemized budget for the residency, including a request for up to $5,000 from the endowment. Information about other funding sources must be included
  • attach thorough documentation of all expenses in the itemized budget

Priority will be given to projects with the potential to reach a wide and diverse audience, projects with a clearly articulated relation to the humanities, and those that offer new approaches, methods or perspectives to the college. Additional consideration will be given to applicants who have shown an effort to receive additional funding sources, co-sponsorship, etc.

Honorarium requests should be limited to $1,500. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis, and documentation will be needed.

Hosting expenses funded through the Hilliard Endowment may not exceed $250.

Expenses not specifically and thoroughly documented will not be included in funding awards. Include estimates such as plane fare, hotel fees, etc. with your application in order for those expenses to be considered.

All applications should originate from a full-time faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and must be routed through and approved by the department chair/program director before being submitted to the dean's office.

Reporting and Acknowledgement Requirements

All written publicity funded by the endowment must include acknowledgment of the CLA and the endowment's support, and the CLA and the endowment must be orally acknowledged prior to all public events.

In addition, not more than 30 days following the public event, the applicant must send a follow-up letter to the Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee describing the visit, including the various activities of the scholar, size of actual audiences and reception given to various events and the effect of the scholar's visit on the campus community.  Failure to submit the report may negatively affect the funding of future applications.