Today, Dean Carol Becker announced an $800,000 gift to Columbia University School of the Arts from the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation to support financial aid for deserving School of the Arts students and provide funding for the renowned Henfield Prize, awarded annually for excellence in fiction writing by an MFA student.
“The generosity of the McCrindle Foundation will support our students for generations to come,” said Becker. “In addition, the Henfield Prize provides an opportunity to celebrate and honor the extraordinary work of our students at a critical time in their creative lives.”
“We’re delighted that Columbia University will be a permanent home for the Henfield Prize,” said John Birmingham, chairman of the McCrindle Foundation. “In the three decades since Joe McCrindle established the prize, Columbia’s MFA Writing Program has produced an outstanding number of Henfield winners, and we’re pleased that this record of excellence will continue.”
The gift from the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation includes $500,000 for The Henfield Foundation Scholarship Fund. The Fund was created in 2009 with a bequest from Joseph F. McCrindle’s estate and supports fellowships for students in the Writing Program. Thanks to a gift from John Kluge ’37CC, this fund receives matching dollars—building on the foundation of Joseph F. McCrindle’s gift for decades to come.
The gift also includes $300,000 to establish an endowment for the Henfield Prize at Columbia University. The Henfield Prize, one of the most prestigious awards available to young writers, was established by Joseph F. McCrindle, editor and publisher of the Transatlantic Review. The Prize is awarded annually to a worthy writing student with a $10,000 grant. Columbia is one of five universities whose creative writing programs have been selected to award the yearly Henfield Prize for the best work of fiction written by a graduate student. The other universities selected for this honor are the University of Virginia, the University of California at Irvine, the University of Iowa, and the University of Michigan.
About Joseph F. McCrindle
Joseph F. McCrindle (1923-2008) began his career as a literary agent for writers including Philip Roth and John McPhee. In 1959, he founded the Transatlantic Review, the renowned literary journal that featured works by such writers as William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Muriel Spark and John Updike. To provide funding for the Transatlantic Review and other charitable giving, the late Mr. McCrindle also established the Henfield Foundation (later renamed the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation) in 1959. After the Review ceased publication in 1977, the Foundation began awarding annual fiction prizes and later funded arts, music, and social justice organizations. Mr. McCrindle was also a renowned art collector who amassed a large collection including over 3,000 old master drawings, paintings, and other art—later donated to over 40 institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Yale Center of British Art.
About the Writing Program at the School of the Arts
The Writing Program at the School of the Arts is highly regarded for its rigorous approach to literary instruction and for its faculty of acclaimed writers and editors who are devoted and dedicated teachers. Students concentrate in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction, and also have the option of pursuing a joint course of study in writing and literary translation. Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program alumni of the last 10 years cumulatively have published more than 150 books and won major international and national literary prizes including Fulbright Scholarships, Rome Prizes, National Book Critics Circle Awards, and Guggenheim Fellowships.