The American Latvian Association in partnership with the Latvian Welfare Association, the World Federation of Free Latvians, and the American Latvian Youth Association established a graduate fellowship fund for Latvian American Studies at the Immigration History Research Center. In 2005 a generous gift from the Republic of Latvia completed the funding needed for this fellowship.
The IHRC is widely regarded as the nation's premier resource for the study of Latvian American history. The cornerstone of the Latvian American collection was provided by the transfer of the 200-linear-foot Latvian archives from the Latvian Studies Center (Kalamazoo, Michigan) to the IHRC archives in 1996.
The American Latvian Association Graduate Fellowship Fund will provide financial support to graduate students engaged in graduate studies in some area related to Latvian American history and culture. The fellows will also be affiliated with the IHRC.
(Photo: Latvian Chorus Shield of Songs, Kalamazoo - Grand Rapids, MI)
Earnings from theAmerican Latvian Association Graduate Fellowship fund are being matched dollar-for-dollar by funding from the University's "21st Century Fellowship" program. These earnings will annually support a graduate student who has research interests in the history and culture of Latvians in the United States and the Latvian diaspora. The fellowship, to be awarded to a graduate student enrolled at the University of Minnesota, will be regularly announced on a national level and will gain identity as a prominent educational award for emerging scholars. As such, it becomes a permanent investment in stimulating and nurturing new research talent in the area of Latvian American studies.
The American Latvian Association Fellowship is a giant step in the development of a Latvian American Studies Fund at the IHRC. Contributions to the overarching fund will enable the IHRC to raise public consciousness of Latvian American history, foster wider understanding of the contributions of Latvian immigrants to American life, and make a significant investment in future scholars of the Latvian experience in the United States. For more information about how to contribute to the Latvian American Studies Fund, see http://ihrc.umn.edu/support/latvian.php