April 6, 2004 $2.5 Million Gift Establishes David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality At John W. Kluge Center

Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
Contact: Bibi Martí (202) 707-1639

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has accepted a $2.5 million gift from the board of directors of the International Center for the Integration of Health and Spirituality (ICIHS) for the creation of the David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality at the Library's John W. Kluge Center.

This fellowship honors the late David B. Larson, M.D., M.S.P.H., former president and founder of ICIHS and epidemiologist and psychiatrist, who focused on potentially relevant but understudied factors that might help in prevention, coping or recovering from illness.

In announcing the gift, Billington said, "We are pleased to be able to support innovative research in a field of growing significance in cultures worldwide."

The recipient of the David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality will continue in Larson's tradition of working on cutting-edge initiatives. The fellowship is designed to encourage gifted professionals from medical, religious, social sciences and humanistic disciplines to pursue the challenge of serious scientific research in this emerging field of study. Interdisciplinary or cross-cultural proposals are welcomed. Concentrated study will focus on aspects of the interactions between health and spirituality, using the vast resources of the Library of Congress, with access to the National Library of Medicine.

A generous endowment from John W. Kluge in 2000 enabled the Library of Congress to establish the John W. Kluge Center in order to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. The center provides research facilities for the its eight senior chairs, distinguished visiting scholars and approximately 25 postdoctoral fellows. The Kluge Center also sponsors a number of programs that highlight research in culture and the humanities.

The endowment of the David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality can be augmented by other contributions to honor Dr. Larson's memory and to enhance the fellowship's effectiveness. To become a donor, or for more information about the fellowship or any of the Kluge Center's fellowships or programs, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302; fax (202) 707-3595; e-mail at scholarly@loc.gov.

Application guidelines for the David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality are available on the Kluge Center Web site, www.loc.gov/kluge.


PR 04-064
ISSN 0731-3527