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The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-05-11

At A Glance

The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.

51 Madison Ave., 30th Fl.

New York City, NY United States 10010-1603

Telephone: (212) 489-7700


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Entertainment; Politics

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $873,020,044

Total giving: $37,082,799






Incorporated in 1936 in NY - Founded by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., who established the foundation as a tribute to his parents, who were missionaries to China. Upon Luce's death in 1967, the foundation became a major beneficiary of his estate and substantially expanded its activities on both the national and international levels. A further bequest from the estate of Clare Boothe Luce was received in 1988 to establish the Clare Boothe Luce Program

Purpose and Activities

Grants for specific projects in the broad areas of Asian affairs, American art, public policy and the environment, theology, advancement of women in science and engineering, and higher education. The Luce Scholars Program gives a select group of young Americans, not Asian specialists, a year's work experience in East and Southeast Asia. Asia grants support the creation of new scholarly and public resources on East and Southeast Asia as well as innovative cultural and intellectual exchange between the Asia-Pacific and the United States. The Henry R. Luce Professorship Program, which supports innovative programs at private colleges and universities, no longer accepts proposals for new grants. The Clare Boothe Luce Program is designed to enhance the careers of women in science and engineering through scholarships, fellowships, and professorships at invited institutions. Funding in the arts focuses on research, scholarship and exhibitions in American art; direct support for specific projects at major museums and service organizations; dissertation support for topics in American art history through the American Council of Learned Societies. Theology grants are made primarily to seminaries and divinity schools for educational purposes. The Henry Luce III Theology Fellows Program is administered through the Association of Theological Schools. Public Policy grants are to support the development of public leadership and to promote best practices in philanthropy, and the Environment grants are made to support the study of critical issues and environmental training and research.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

American Art

This program focuses on American fine and decorative art, and is committed to scholarship and the overall enhancement of American art history. The program supports exhibitions, publications and research that emphasize an aesthetic approach to American art, specifically scholarly study of painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, decorative arts, photography, and architecture. The program is limited to the visual arts, but does not include grants for film or broadcast media. Proposals are not accepted from individuals.


The program pursues two interrelated goals. One is fostering cultural and intellectual exchange between the United States and the countries of East and Southeast Asia. The second is creating scholarly and public resources for improved understanding of Asia in the United States. The program includes two categories of grantmaking: 1) Asia Responsive Grants: periodically approved by the foundation's board, these grants respond to needs in the field of Asian studies identified by scholars and institutions. Funding is limited to programs and projects concerning the countries and cultures of Northeast and Southeast Asia; and Special Initiatives: funds special competitive initiatives on specific issues relevant to the study of Asia; 2) The Luce Scholars Program, which provides fellowships for professional internships in Asia for young American leaders, is administered as a separate program.

Clare Boothe Luce Program

Established in 1989, the aim of the program is to encourage the participation of women in science, mathematics, and engineering, fields in which they are underrepresented. Grants are made to four-year degree-granting institutions, not directly to individuals. The program is administered in three parts: 1) undergraduate awards, 2) graduate fellowships, 3) professorships. Student recipients must be U.S. citizens; faculty recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Medical and social science fields are excluded.

Employee Matching Gifts

The foundation matches employee gifts to charitable organizations.

Grants to Individuals Program

Fellowships by institutional nomination only to American citizens with a bachelor's degree who are no more than 29 years of age as of Sept. 1 of the year they enter the program.

Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs

The initiative seeks to deepen understanding of religion as a critical dimension of national and international policies and politics. The initiative has two parts: an annual competitive grants program for professional schools in the U.S. to help prepare the next generation of policy specialists; and grants to build on existing or emerging efforts at U.S. universities, public policy institutions, and the media, to strengthen or create new programs, to focus on particular issues, or to amplify synergies among those working at the intersection of religion and international affairs. The initiative invites proposals from academic as well as policy or media institutions that work to deepen interdisciplinary understanding of the role of religion in world affairs, and to link this knowledge to a range of policy issues, communities, and wider publics.Grant-making will continue to focus on institutions in the United States, but the initiative encourages proposals that seek to develop sustainable conversations and relationships with colleagues and institutional partners in many parts of the world.

Higher Education

From to time to time, grants are considered for projects that are in keeping with the foundation’s purposes but fall outside the boundaries of its other activities.Letters of inquiry can be submitted at any time of the year by qualified organizations.

Luce Scholars Program

Relying on a network of 75 colleges and universities for nominees, this program enables 15 to 18 Americans under age 30, who have earned a bachelor's degree, who are not Asian specialists to spend one year in East or Southeast Asia in internship positions under the guidance of leading Asian professionals. The foundation administers the program with cooperation from the Asia Foundation, which arranges placements for the scholars and provides administrative support during the program year.

Program-Related Investment

Loan changed to grant -- no PRI activity.

Public Policy

Reflecting the interests of Henry R. Luce, the foundation approves a small number of grants each year in public policy to organizations that promote best practices in and knowledge about philanthropy. Inquiries and proposals can be submitted at any time, and grants are determined by the board of directors, which meets three times a year. Requests for new support should be directed to Toby Alice Volkman, Dir. of Policy Initiatives.


The program encourages the development of religious leaders through theological education, and fosters scholarship that links the academy to religious communities and other audiences. A key priority is support for new models of theological education to prepare leaders for service in a religiously plural world. Support has focused on accredited seminaries and divinity schools in the United States, institutions that prepare leaders for religious institutions and the broader society.

Fields of Interest

  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Graduate and professional education
  • Higher education
  • Humanities
  • International studies
  • Museums
  • Public policy
  • Social sciences
  • Theology
  • Visual arts
International Interests
  • Eastern Asia
  • Southeastern Asia
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Females

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $873,020,044 (market value)

Expenditures: $47,716,222

Total giving: $37,082,799

Qualifying distributions: $43,245,119