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March Fellowship Madness 2013

Goal ThermometerIt's that time of year again! March Fellowship Madness is a month-long drive to raise as many fellowship dollars as possible, so we can get more students in the field! Last year, 80 donors joined in the madness and gave over $9,000. That meant that ASOR was able to award nine additional travel scholarships! That's nine additional scholars who were able to conduct field research and expand our knowledge of the ancient Near East. How many more students can we send to the field this year?

As you know, ASOR’s mission is Donate Button to support archaeology in the Near East, and now we have an exciting opportunity for you to support students of archaeology directly! ASOR is very fortunate to have some endowment funds that provide base level funding for scholarships. In addition, Heritage donors contribute $2,500 each to provide additional scholarships. These funding sources enable us to grant about 30 travel scholarships each year. While this support is generous, the need always exceeds what we have available. With shrinking academic budgets and with federal support shrinking as well, more and more students are applying for scholarships. This year we anticipate two to three times the applications than the available funds. We need ASOR's members to make gifts of any size so that more students can go into the field. ASOR does not charge any administrative fee for gifts made during March Fellowship Madness, so 100% of your contribution supports students who have a demonstrated need.

Last Year ASOR awarded 42 scholarships, and our goal this year is to award 75 total grants (including the Harris Grants). Many of the gifts supporting these scholarships were small, but they added up. Rob Oden, ASOR development chair and president emeritus of Carleton College, has written a brief essay on the importance of these small donations: "Why All Gifts to ASOR Matter." The short answer is that the smaller gifts add up and multiply and broad participation by ASOR's members attracts major donors to provide transformative support. If 100 people donate $25, we will raise an additional $2,500 for scholarships. If another 50 people donate $50, we'll add another $2,500. If 25 people give $100, then that is yet another $2,500. It's not hard to see how the math adds up and how more and more students can go into the field. In addition, we have received two challenge gifts that will provide matching funds for gifts of any size, so all gifts are truly meaningful!

We hope that you will join the madness and help transform a student's career by sending him or her into the field. Here's what past fellowship recipients have said about their experiences:

"None of this would have been possible without ASOR’s Heritage Fellowship and all of the amazing people who donated their hard earned money to make the fellowships possible. I can’t thank you all enough for the amazing experience I was given." –Stephanie Boonstra, 2012 Heritage Fellow

"Knowing that the work we accomplished this summer adds inch by inch toward a better understanding of the lives, economy, and industry of the people who inhabited the area so long ago makes me all the more grateful for the chance to be a part of the Tayinat excavations, and to the Heritage donors who made it possible." -Emily Coate, 2012 Heritage Fellow

For first-hand testimonials of the importance of these excavation fellowships to students of archaeology, check out reports from last year's fellowship recipients on the ASOR blog.

You can support archaeology in a very direct way by giving any amount to March Fellowship Madness. How many new fellowships can we raise fund with your donations in the month of March alone? Be a team player and donate before the buzzer sounds! Remember, 100% of your gift goes to support student scholarships.


  • Total number of donors: 100 (last year we had 80)
  • Total amount of funds raised: $10,000 (last year we raised $9,200)
  • Challenge gifts: Two trustees have pledged to donate an additional $5,000 to the Heritage Program if we meet our first two goals.



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The American Schools of Oriental Research | Contact | Overseas Centers | Facebook March 5, 2013