Arts | Education

Donor Gives $200K For UO Comics Minor

OPB | Dec. 3, 2013 1:30 p.m.

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The University of Oregon has announced an anonymous gift of $200,000 to support a comics and cartoon study track.

The university started a minor in Comics and Cartoon Studies last year. Since then, twenty to thirty students have chosen the minor.

Professor Ben Saunders says the UO minor is unique among undergraduate programs.

Professor Ben Saunders says the UO minor is unique among undergraduate programs.

Courtesy of the University of Oregon

Ben Saunders is the English professor who directs the program. He says interest from the endowment will translate into $6,000 to $10,000 annually to be spent on course development, new exhibitions, and bringing professionals to campus to meet students.

“This is a field,” Saunders says, “where it’s absolutely vital that students meet people working in the industry. There are places  where you can go to sort of learn how to make comics, but there are as many varieties of comics as varieties of novel or varieties of movie.”

The instructors in the program are drawn from other disciplines, ranging from English to Art to Japanese Literature. The U of O calls the program “the first academic minor of its kind in the country.”

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