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President Obama Awards 2015 National Humanities Medal

Twelve distinguished humanities recipients receive honor on Sept 22 in East Room ceremony

Rudolfo Anaya awarded a National Humanities Medal

Rudolfo Anaya awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

José Andrés awarded a National Humanities Medal

José Andrés awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Ron Chernow awarded a National Humanities Medal

Ron Chernow awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Louise Glück awarded a National Humanities Medal

Louise Glück awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Terry Gross awarded a National Humanities Medal

Terry Gross awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

James McBride awarded a National Humanities Medal

James McBride awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Louis Menand awarded a National Humanities Medal

Louis Menand awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Elaine Pagels awarded a National Humanities Medal

Elaine Pagels awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Prison University Project awarded a National Humanities Medal

Prison University Project awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Abraham Verghese awarded a National Humanities Medal

Abraham Verghese awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

Isabel Wilkerson awarded a National Humanities Medal

Isabel Wilkerson awarded a National Humanities Medal

Credit:

Photo by Cheriss May, Ndemay Media Group

WASHINGTON (September 23, 2016) —  Yesterday in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, President Barack Obama awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal to twelve distinguished recipients. The awardees included authors, a poet, physician, historian, chef, and a higher education program.

The National Humanities Medal honors an individual or organization whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history and literature or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources.

“This year’s medalists showcase the power of the humanities to change the world and improve our understanding of one another,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “I am proud to join President Obama in recognizing the recipients of the 2015 National Humanities Medal for their profound impact on our society.”

Here are the 12 recipients of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. More information about them, as well as our previous honorees, is available at this link.

*Was not present at the ceremony

Created as an independent federal agency in 1965, NEH awards grants that support research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities that have resulted in thousands of museums exhibits, scholarly books, films, and radio programs.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) manages the nominations process for the National Humanities Medal on behalf of the White House. Each year NEH invites nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Humanities, NEH’s presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.

The first National Humanities Medal was awarded in 1997. Since then, 187 have been bestowed — to 174 individuals and 13 organizations — inclusive of this year’s recipients.

The humanities medal, first awarded as the Charles Frankel Prize in 1989, was presented along with the 2015 National Medal of Arts. The full list of NEA Medalists can be found here.

Hashtag: #ArtsHumanitiesMedal

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Courtney Chapin at (202) 606-8298 or media@neh.gov