From the News column of the January 2007 Perspectives

Historians among Recipients of National Humanities Medals

AHA Staff, January 2007

AHA members Mark A. Noll of the University of Notre Dame and Bernard Lewis of Princeton University were among those who were awarded the National Humanities Medals for 2006 by President George W. Bush at a ceremony held in the White House on November 9, 2006. Kevin Starr, professor of history at the University of Southern California, and Nickolas Davatzes, one of the founders of the History Channel were also honored with the medal.

Mark Noll, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame is considered to be one of America's leading scholars of religious and cultural history. He is the author of numerous books, including The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (University of North Carolina Press, 2006) and The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.

Bernard Lewis, the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern studies emeritus at Princeton University, has been described as America's greatest Middle East sage. His vast corpus of scholarly works and books addressed to the general reader include Islam in History, The Future of the Middle East, and the more recent publication, What Went Wrong? The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East.

University of Southern California Professor Kevin Starr is famous for his definitive, multivolume, 10,000-page-long study of California history. Apart from a PhD in history, he also holds a master of library science degree and served as the librarian of the State of California, for 10 years and was recently named as State Librarian emeritus.

Nickolas Davatzes was a founder of the A&E television network where, because of his interest in history and education, he also launched the History Channel, and its program, Save Our History.
The other recipients of the medal include Wellesley College classics scholar Mary Lefkowitz, the Hoover Institution, and biographer Meryle Secrest.

The National Humanities Medal was created in 1997, and is awarded to 12 or fewer recipients per year, to honor "individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities."