New Fellowship Created in Honor of Center Founders

Gift from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Establishes 30th Endowed Fellowship

News Release Date: April 14, 2014

Research Triangle Park, N.C.  The National Humanities Center is pleased to announce the establishment of the Founders' Fellowship, the Center's thirtieth endowed fellowship for scholarly work in the humanities. Made possible by a generous gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Founders' Fellowship will be awarded annually to a distinguished scholar beginning with the 2014-15 fellowship year.

The Founders' Fellowship honors Meyer H. Abrams, Morton Bloomfield, Frederick Burkhardt, Charles Frankel, Robert F. Goheen, Steven Marcus, Henry Nash Smith, Gregory Vlastos, and John Voss—the remarkable individuals who were instrumental in both conceiving and advocating for the establishment of a center of advanced study dedicated to the humanities. In addition to their work in bringing the Center to life, they each also made significant scholarly contributions—in literary studies, classics, history, philosophy, and American studies—and are widely recognized for their leadership inside the academy and in public life. The endowment for the Founders' Fellowship was included as part of a recent $2 million gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Over the past five years as part of the Center's current capital campaign, the Mellon Foundation has contributed gifts enabling the creation of five new endowed fellowships so far.

"In 2014, as we celebrate the Center's first 35 years supporting excellence in humanities scholarship, it is fitting that our newest fellowship acknowledges those who's vision and dedication helped bring the National Humanities Center to life," says Geoffrey Harpham, president and director of the Center. "We are deeply grateful for this gift and the loyal support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; its leadership in our capital campaign has been crucial for strengthening the Center for the future."

About the National Humanities Center

The National Humanities Center ( is one of the world's leading institutes for advanced study and the only one dedicated exclusively to the humanities. Privately incorporated and governed by a distinguished board of trustees from academic, professional, and public life, the Center was planned under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and began operation in 1978. It provides a national focus for the best work in the liberal arts, drawing attention to the enduring value of ancient and modern history, language and literature, ethical and moral reflection, artistic and cultural traditions and critical thought in every area of humanistic investigation. By encouraging excellence in scholarship, the Center seeks to ensure the continuing strength of the liberal arts and to affirm the importance of the humanities in American life.

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