Awards & Honors

Jefferson Lecture

The Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, established by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1972, is the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

Andrew Delbanco

Jefferson Lecture - 2022

Andrew Delbanco, 2022 Jefferson Lecturer
Photo caption

Andrew Delbanco, 2022 Jefferson Lecturer 

Photo by Billy Delfs / National Endowment for the Humanities 

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National Humanities Medal

The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens' engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects. Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.

2020 Recipient Highlights

Kay Coles James

For her intellectual leadership, devotion to our Constitutional principles, and steadfast commitment to opportunity for all.

O. James Lighthizer

For his decades of work protecting thousands of acres of Civil War battlefields for future generations. As a government official and then as the President of the Civil War Preservation Trust, James Lighthizer has devoted himself completely to preserving priceless historic sites so that all Americans can visit, learn, and pay their respects to those who sacrificed their lives on that hallowed ground.

National World War II Museum

For its devotion to bringing to life the story of America’s greatest generation and our remarkable victory against the forces of evil. The National World War II Museum has captivated millions of Americans with its compelling exhibits and expansive collections.

2019 Recipient Highlights

The Claremont Institute

For championing the Nation’s founding principles and enriching American minds. Its publications and public events have deepened our understanding and appreciation of American freedom, democracy, justice, and rule of law.

Teresa Lozano Long

For supporting the arts and improving educational opportunities. Through scholarships and philanthropy, she has helped America’s children and young adults learn the skills they need to succeed.

Patrick J. O’Connell

For being one of the greatest chefs of our time. Through the Inn at Little Washington, he has raised the culinary arts to new heights of excellence by embracing regional flavors and championing local farmers.

James Patterson

For being one of the most successful American authors of our time. His prodigious imagination has resulted in fascinating works that have been enjoyed by millions and his championship of literacy in America has inspired many to realize their potential.

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