Harvard's Russian Research Center has received three grants totaling more that $1 million for the next three years, officials announced last week.
Associate Director Marshall I. Goldman said the new donations will allow the research center to attract better scholars to study at Harvard, usually for a year, and to invite special guest lecturers.
Three foundations, the Mellon, Olin and Bradley, donated the funds, which were given in the form of matching gifts and multi-year grants.
The center currently supports about 35 fellowships each year, a figure not likely to change, Goldman said. "We're restricted by walls," he said.
Instead of supporting a greater number of scholars, the center will use the additional money to lure more important and younger scholars to Harvard.
Goldman said the center hopes to capitalize on the Soviet Union's policy of "glasnost," or openness, to bring more Soviet scholars and politicians to Cambridge. The center is currently arranging a formal exchange program with an institute in the Soviet Union.
In the next few weeks, Leonid Abalkin, a close economic adviser to Gorbachev, is scheduled to speak at the Russian Research Center.
The grants come primarily from the Mellon Foundation, which will donate $500,000 to the center on the condition that it raise contributions in the next three years twice the grant's value. The center has already raised $200,000 toward that end, Goldman said.
The money from the Mellon grant will fund an endowment that is expected to generate $30,000 a year for the center, Goldman said. The foundation has given two previous grants to the center.
The rest of the recent funding comes from two other philanthropic organizations. The Olin Foundation will donate $100,000 a year over the next three years to pay for fellowships, as well as $50,000 to pay for special seminars, according to a press release.
The Bradley Foundation will also give money for immediate use by the center, in the form of a $175,000 grant in each of the next two years to be used for fellowships.
Hillel Fradkin of the Bradley Foundation said that Harvard will probably receive more money from the foundation in the future. The foundation's board will review the grant in two years, and odds are favorable for a renewal at that time, he said.
Fradkin said the foundation decided to fund the Russian Research Center, though it had not done so in the past two years, because "the area of Soviet Studies has been neglected in the past few years."