The Asian Studies Department is fortunate to enjoy the support of a number of loyal and generous alumni.
The Linen summer grants for study abroad, the Linen visiting professorships, and several other programmatic activities in the department are supported by an endowment for Asian Studies established by family and friends in memory of James A. Linen III, Class of 1934, Trustee of the College from 1948 to 1953 and from 1963 to 1982.
The Joseph G. Tompkins, Jr. ’62 Fund for Asian Studies supports departmental activities relating to Japan. The G. Bruce Baker ’57 & Geoffrey B. Baker ’83 Fund in memory of Professor William B. Gates, Jr. ’39 supports general Asian Studies departmental activities.
Linen Summer Grants for Study in Asia
The Linen Fund also allows the department to offer a certain number of grants to assist Williams College undergraduates in traveling to South, Southeast, and East Asia during the summer for educational purposes. Proposals may include (but are not limited to) conducting research for an honor’s thesis; pursuing other kinds of independent research under the direction of a member of the Williams College faculty; or participating in an intensive language training program in Asia at the advanced or intermediate level.
In consultation with sponsoring faculty members, students develop individual study proposals, which are evaluated by the department in the spring. Several awards are given each year, in amounts that vary depending on the specific study proposal and available resources. Students wishing to apply for a Linen Summer Grant should contact the Asian Studies Department Chair early in the spring semester for information about obtaining an application.
Linen and Tompkins Awards
Thanks to the generosity of several of our alumni, the Department of Asian Studies awards a number of prizes in Asian Studies, Chinese, and Japanese.
The Tompkins Award is given to at most one Japanese language student a year, to recognize outstanding work in the third-year Japanese class or above. All advanced Japanese language students are automatically considered, with the final decision made by the Japanese language faculty in consultation with the chair. The prize consists of round trip transportation to Japan plus up to $1,500 to cover expenses for attending an approved seminar or conference, or to conduct an approved independent study project. The study plan can be developed in consultation with faculty after the award is made.
In addition to the Tompkins Award, there are four Linen prizes given to graduating seniors. Each of the four prizes consists of a monetary award plus an appropriately inscribed book.
The Linen Thesis Prize in Asian Studies is awarded to a graduating senior who writes an outstanding honors thesis. Although preference is given to majors, the prize is also open to non-majors who write an outstanding honors thesis with a substantial focus on Asia that is supervised by a member of the Asian Studies faculty.
The Linen Prize in Asian Studies is awarded to a graduating senior who achieves distinction and shows outstanding promise in Asian Studies. This prize is restricted to majors in the Department of Asian Studies.
The Linen Prize in Chinese is awarded to a graduating senior who achieves distinction and shows outstanding promise in Chinese. This prize is open to any senior, whether a major in the Department of Asian Studies or not, who has taken Chinese language at some point during her or his undergraduate career at Williams.
The Linen Prize in Japanese is awarded to a graduating senior who achieves distinction and shows outstanding promise in Japanese. This prize is open to any senior, whether a major in the Department of Asian Studies or not, who has taken Japanese language during her or his undergraduate career at Williams.
Each year Williams offers two teaching fellowships in China to graduating Williams seniors to United College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. During their residence in Asia, the teaching fellows teach English or serve as teaching assistants in various departments, and study Chinese language and culture. Students who are interested in applying should see the department chair. The application deadline is in early spring.
Through the generosity of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the department has been awarded two scholarships for two Williams students each year to study in China. The application deadline for this scholarship is in the spring, interested students should contact the coordinator of Chinese.
Similarly, through the generosity of the Taiwan Ministry of Education, the department has been awarded a scholarship for one Williams student each year to study Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. The application deadline for this scholarship is also in the spring; again, interested students should see the Coordinator of Chinese.
Students interested in pursuing graduate study or language teaching in Japan are eligible for international fellowships offered by the Japanese Ministry of Education. See the After Graduation section of the Japanese language program site and consult with faculty for details.