The Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, made possible by $7.6 million in transformative gifts from private foundations and generous donors like Trustee Emerita Susan Lynch ’62, has accelerated the growth of global learning opportunities for students from all backgrounds.
Additional gifts received through this Campaign have supported continuing innovation in global education at Conn. Thanks to the Diane Bessell ’59 Endowed Fund for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development, a new program introduces students to the U.N. sustainable development goals framework and matches them with international organizations focused on pressing 21st-century challenges, from the global refugee crisis to climate change. To date, 24 Conn students have acquired new knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills through internships abroad and further enriched sustainability work on campus.
Resources now available in the Walter Commons help fuel the innovative international teaching and research of our faculty. Since 2018, language professors have introduced courses that prepare students with skills for the workplace and more than 20 new courses and projects involving collaboration with Conn's global partners have been launched, including a popular new summer program in South Africa for STEM students.
Enhanced support for international fellowships in the Walter Commons have yielded a record success, with more and more historically underrepresented and first-generation students applying for – and winning! – more prestigious awards than ever before.