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November 2006

                                                                                     November 8, 2006

… the latest from Suite 603

Elise Liu, 17, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was selected as the grand prize winner in the national NEH "Idea of America" Essay Contest


National Humanities Medalists

The White House has just announced the 2006 National Humanities Medalists. They are:

  • Fouad Ajami, Middle Eastern Studies Scholar - Washington, DC
  • James Buchanan, Economist - Fairfax, VA
  • Nickolas Davatzes, Historian - Wilton, CT
  • Robert Fagles, Translator and Classicist - Princeton, NJ
  • The Hoover Institution (John Raisian, Senior Fellow and Director of the Hoover Institution, will accept the award on behalf of the Institution) - Palo Alto, CA
  • Mary Lefkowitz, Classicist - Wellesley, MA
  • Bernard Lewis, Middle Eastern Studies Scholar - Princeton, NJ
  • Mark Noll, Historian of Religion - Notre Dame, IN
  • Meryle Secrest, Biographer - Washington, DC
  • Kevin Starr, Historian - San Francisco, CA

The awards will be presented by the President in an Oval Office ceremony on Thursday, November 9, 2006. The President will be joined by First Lady Laura Bush, Dr. Bruce Cole, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts.

Congratulations to the councils in the District of Columbia, South Dakota, and Virginia for getting NEA grants in the new round of Big Read projects!

We look forward to welcoming Jamie Doggett to her first meeting of the National Council on the Humanities next week. Jamie is, of course, a long-time member and chair of the board of the Montana Committee for the Humanities and of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

Changes in the Division of Public Programs

Chairman Bruce Cole has announced that Director Nancy Rogers will work on a special project for NEH at the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Nancy will help the Institute's Office of Strategic Partnerships pursue new collaborations and strengthen existing relationships with public broadcasting, museums, libraries, other federal agencies, and private sector organizations. She will also conduct a study of historical museums and organizations regarding such issues as the recent drop in attendance at these institutions and the steps being taken to address that decline, including innovative uses of digital technology. Such a study will contribute to NEH's We the People initiative and to the public humanities in general. 

Jim Vore, who has served as Deputy Director of Public Programs will retire shortly. Senior Program Officer Tom Phelps will serve as Acting Director.

Both Nancy and Jim are well known to state humanities councils from their many years in the Division of State Programs, the precursor of Federal/State Partnership. Jim was the founding director of the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

out and about

We look forward to seeing most of you next week at the annual conference of the Federation of State Humanities Councils in Louisville, KY. Kathleen and Dwan will arrive on Thursday. Edie will arrive on Friday, following the conclusion of the meeting of the National Council on the Humanities. Altogether, eleven NEH staff members will attend the National Humanities Conference. All of us look forward to seeing you.

The NEH New Board Member Orientation session will be held Thursday, November 17, 2:30-4:30 in Medallion B of the conference hotel. Kathleen will moderate. Even if you are not a new board member, we would be delighted for you to attend.

Kathleen will represent NEH at the South Dakota Humanities Council site visit November 29 to December 1. Dwan will participate in the site visit to Humanities Texas December 7-8.

Be sure to read the profile of New Hampshire Humanities Council executive director Deborah Watrous in the September-October issue of Humanities.

National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 603
Washington, DC 20506
202.606.8254, main number
202.606.8365, fax

Edie Manza, director
Kathleen Mitchell, senior program officer
Shirley Newman, program assistant
Dwan Reece, senior program officer

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National Endowment for the Humanities