The U.S. Senate on July 29 unanimously confirmed President Bush's five nominees to the National Council on the Humanities, the 26-member advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
"I am delighted to welcome these accomplished individuals to the National Council on the Humanities," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole, who chairs the advisory body. "Their outstanding leadership, creativity and deep reflection about the role of the humanities in American life will help guide the National Endowment for the Humanities in the years ahead."
The National Council on the Humanities meets four times a year to review applications for the awarding of grants and to make recommendations to the NEH chairman regarding the Endowment's policies, programs and procedures. Each National Council member serves a six-year term.
The new council members:
Thomas Mallon (Westport, Conn.) is a novelist and critic. He is author of acclaimed works of historical fiction, including "Henry and Clara," "Dewey Defeats Truman" and "Two Moons." His nonfiction books include "In Fact: Essays on Writers and Writing." A former English professor at Vassar College, he was literary editor and books columnist for Gentlemen's Quarterly. His honors include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships. A contributor to New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and American Scholar, he served in 1998 as chairman of the fiction judges for the National Book Awards. His A. B. is from Brown University and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are from Harvard.
Wilfred M. McClay (Chattanooga, Tenn.) is a professor of history and SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is author of "The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America" (1994), which received the Organization of American Historians' 1995 Merle Curti Award for best book in American intellectual history. His honors include a John Templeton Foundation award for distinguished teaching and scholarship and several fellowships. He serves on editorial boards and contributes to several intellectual journals. He was educated at St. John's College (Annapolis) and Johns Hopkins University, where he received his Ph.D.
Naomi Shihab Nye (San Antonio, Texas) is a poet, essayist and children's writer. Author of more than 20 volumes, she explores shared intercultural experiences in her works, which include volumes of poetry ("Red Suitcase," "Fuel" and "19 Varieties of Gazelle"), essays ("Never in a Hurry") and a novel for young readers ("Habibi"). She has traveled to the Middle East and Asia for the U.S. Information Agency promoting international goodwill through the arts. Her honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, the Academy of American Poets' Lavan Award, four Pushcart Prizes and two Jane Addams Children's Book Awards. She has been featured on NPR and PBS.
Michael Pack (Chevy Chase, Md.) is an independent documentary filmmaker and founding president of Manifold Productions, Inc. His documentaries, including "Rediscovering George Washington," "The Fall of Newt Gingrich," "Inside the Republican Revolution" and "America's Political Parties," have aired nationally on PBS. He served as director of WORLDNET, the U.S. Information Agency's television and film service and co-chaired the International TV Council at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. His awards include eight awards from the Houston International Film Festival, the Chris Plaque and seven CINE Golden Eagles.
Jeffrey D. Wallin (Washington, D.C.) is president of the American Academy for Liberal Education. He was director of programs at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, a senior fellow at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis in Cambridge and Washington and director of NEH's Division of General Programs. He has taught at the University of Dallas and UC, Santa Barbara. A Winston Churchill scholar, he has written on liberal education in the thought of great books curriculum advocates Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler. His B.A. is from Pepperdine University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are from Claremont University.