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COCC’s Chandler Lecture Series receives prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities grant

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon Community College’s Chandler Lecture Series recently received its first National Endowment for the Humanities grant, a $60,000 award that will be used to develop and host six humanities-focused presentations on topics of journalism, social justice, literature, art and other content.

COCC’s award was part of a new NEH award category called “Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education,” and it was one of just 30 such grants awarded across the country — COCC was one of only three community colleges selected.

The Chandler Lecture Series, a COCC Foundation program since 1985, brings renowned speakers and experts to the region to deliver programming on a diverse range of educational and topical subjects, typically offered at a low cost or free to the community, and always free to students.

Revealed at the NEH’s recent funding cycle announcement, the grant represents one of just 258 awards presented this year by the organization, first started in 1965.

“We plan to host events that focus on Native American and Black cultures, heritage, activism and art, including for our annual Season of Nonviolence commemoration,” said Charlotte Gilbride, coordinator of the Chandler Lecture Series. “We’ll be collaborating with COCC humanities faculty to further integrate our speakers’ content into COCC curriculum, as well as connect speakers with students.” The grant period is from fall of 2023 to spring of 2025.

The Nancy R. Chandler Lecture Series of the COCC Foundation has hosted many distinguished speakers over the years, including Ndaba Mandela, activist grandson of Nelson Mandela; Lulu Garcia-Navarro, journalist; Jelani Cobb, writer and educator; and Maya Angelou, Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and activist. The series was established by the late Robert W. Chandler Sr. to honor his wife Nancy.

For more information, contact Charlotte Gilbride, coordinator for the Chandler Lecture Series, at 541-383-7257 or

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