During the last fifteen years, the Institute's founders and sponsors have supported its creation and the steady expansion of its programs in the humanities and the arts.
Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke have supported the Institute since it was established in 1990. Their contributions were recognized in 1999 when the Institute was named the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Doctoral Fellowships are awarded for University graduate students in Humanities, thanks to two members of the Humanities Visiting Committee, and to the Janet Johnstone bequest.
The Institute's Adelyn Russell Bogert Fund enables the Institute to make grants for events about the arts, especially film and visual arts.
Through contributions from the members of the Visiting Committee to the Division of the Humanities, the Institute presents the Chicago Humanities Forum every year, a series of six lectures given by University faculty members for alumni and friends at the University's downtown center.
The Institute's programs have also benefited from the support of an anonymous donor.
From 1994-97, the John D. Rockefeller Foundation awarded a grant on "Public Spheres and the Globalization of Media."
Beginning in 1995-96, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation provided a grant for a three-year Globalization Project.
Beginning in 1995, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has supported Sawyer Seminars, developed by faculty committees and coordinated by the Franke Institute for the Humanities. The yearlong topics of the Sawyer Seminars have included:
- "Toleration, Repression and Authority in the Early Modern Period" (1995-96)
- "Religion, Law, and the Construction of Identities" (1996-97)
"Sexual Identities, Identity Politics: Cross-cultural Investigations" (1997-98)
- "Computer Science as a Human Science: The Cultural Impact of
- "The Range of Contemporary Literacy: The Circulation of Poetry" (2001-02)
- "From Medieval to Modern in the Islamic World" (2001-02)
- "Inquiries in Aesthetic Theory, Forms of Representation, and the Logic of the
Humanities: The Problem of Non-Discursive Thought from Goethe to
In 1999, Regents Park at Hyde Park sponsored the Journalists and Scholars Project at the Institute, a seminar on visual literacy.
In 2002-03, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations made a multi-year grant to the College for the Senior Capstone Project, coordinated in conjunction with the Franke Institute.
During 2003-06, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant for the Mellon Project at the Institute on "New Perspectives on the Disciplines: Comparative Studies in Higher Education."