The William Fontaine Endowment was established in 1970 at the University of Pennsylvania in honor of Dr. William Fontaine, a Penn Ph.D., a professor in Penn's Philosophy Department for twenty-one years, and the first African-American to become a fully affiliated Professor at Penn. The Fontaine Fellowships are awarded to Ph.D. students belonging to groups that have been under-represented in their respective disciplines, or in post-graduate studies in general. This includes, but is not limited to, students of African, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Indigenous descent, students from low income backgrounds, and first-generation college students. Awardees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
The Fontaine Fellowship provides the same funding as the Benjamin Franklin Fellowship (tuition, fees, health insurance, stipend, summer funding, gym access), but also includes membership in the Fontaine Society, a source of mentorship and networking opportunities, and eligibility for additional travel and research funding.
For more information on Dr. William Fontaine and his legacy, please see: