News From the Center

Alan Brinkley (1949–2019)

The trustees and staff of the National Humanities Center mourn the passing of trustee emeritus Alan Brinkley, who died on June 17 at the age of 70 in New York, NY. Brinkley, the Allan Nevins Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, was a trustee of the Center from 2003–2013, serving as chairman from 2010–2013. Widely recognized as one of the leading historians of twentieth century American politics and culture, Brinkley’s scholarship primarily focused on the era of the Great Depression and World War II.

Teacher Advisory Council 2017

National Humanities Center Names 2019–20 Teacher Advisory Council

The National Humanities Center has announced the selection of twenty highly qualified educators from across the country as members of its 2019–20 Teacher Advisory Council. These teachers, from school districts in fourteen states, will work with the Center’s education program staff in piloting, evaluating, and promoting resources and programs that complement its nationally recognized teaching and professional development materials.

John Birkelund (1931–2019)

The trustees and staff of the National Humanities Center mourn the passing of trustee emeritus John P. Birkelund, who died on May 10 at the age of 88 in New Canaan, CT. Mr. Birkelund, the former chairman and CEO of Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., was as a trustee of the Center from 1992–2004, serving as chairman from 1996–2004. His legacy at the Center continues in many ways, including through the Birkelund fellowship which he endowed.

National Humanities Center Receives NEH Grant to Foster Better Understanding of the Experience of Military Families

The NHC has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a new project training educators with military backgrounds to use literature to improve their students’ and communities’ understanding of the experience of veterans and their families. The grant will help fund a weeklong institute at the Center for thirty educators from communities in North Carolina and Virginia. The participants will work with literary scholars during the institute to devise educational programs for their classrooms and communities to be implemented over the course of the following year.

National Humanities Center Names Fellows for 2019–20

The National Humanities Center is pleased to announce the appointment of 37 Fellows for the academic year 2019–20. These leading scholars will come to the Center from universities and colleges in 14 U.S. states, as well as from Singapore, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. These newly appointed Fellows will constitute the forty-second class of resident scholars to be admitted since the Center opened in 1978.

Center Mourns Recent Passing of Trustee Anne Firor Scott, Friends Nancy Lewis and Clay Whitehead

The trustees and staff of the NHC mourn the recent passing of trustee emerita Anne Firor Scott on February 6, 2019, age 97. Scott was a distinguished historian whose long list of accolades included the National Humanities Medal, bestowed on her in 2013 for her pioneering work in the area of women’s history. The Center is also deeply saddened by the loss of longtime friends and supporters Nancy Lewis on October 27, 2018 and Clay Whitehead, who died in December 2018.

National Humanities Center Names New Education Programs Manager

The National Humanities Center has named award-winning history educator Michael “Mike” Williams as its new education programs manager. Williams comes to the Center having most recently served as chair of the history department at Warren New Tech High School in Warrenton, NC, where he has taught for the past decade. In that time, he has twice been recognized as the Warren County Teacher of the Year (2014, 2017–18) and was named the 2017 Tachau National Teacher of the Year by the Organization of American Historians.

Bill and Jean Anne Leuchtenburg Celebrate Forty Years Together at the Center

Over the past four decades, Center lunches have offered a wonderful occasion for those who love the humanities to meet and discover their shared passions, and it's not uncommon for those kindred spirits to form deep and lasting relationships. Probably none, though, can match William and Jean Anne Leuchtenburg, who met and fell in love at the Center forty years ago when he was a Fellow and she was a new member of the NHC staff.

Center Launches Online Courses for Teachers

The NHC has launched the first in a new series of online courses for teachers exploring “Digital Literacy in the Classroom.” In this five-week online course, educators will explore digital literacy through a humanities lens, considering how media has evolved in the digital age, how its messages shape our citizenry, and how this understanding can be effectively conveyed in a classroom setting.