Humanities Council Awards Top Humanities Honor to David Price

Humanities Council Awards Top Humanities Honor to David Price

The trustees of the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, have chosen author, educator, and U.S. Congressman David Price as the recipient of the 2011 John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, the Council’s prestigious public humanities honor. The award ceremony is scheduled for Friday, October 21, at 7:00 p.m., at the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, North Carolina.

Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University, will deliver the annual Caldwell Lecture in the Humanities at the event, which is free and open to the public.

With the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, the North Carolina Humanities Council recognizes those exceptional individuals who throughout their lives and careers have strengthened the educational, cultural, and civic life of North Carolinians. The award is named for the late Dr. John Tyler Caldwell, former chancellor of North Carolina State University.

Past Caldwell Laureates include William Friday, Reynolds Price, Anne Firor Scott, Doris Waugh Betts, John Hope Franklin, Ben Fountain, Emily Herring Wilson, Walt Wolfram, Marsha White Warren, and Fred Chappell.

Representative Price, who grew up Erwin, Tennessee, has made Chapel Hill his home since 1973. As a Morehead Scholar, he earned a B.A. at the University of North Carolina and continued his education to receive a Bachelor of Divinity and Ph.D. in Political Science at Yale University. Before he began serving in the U.S. Congress in 1987, Price was a professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University. He is the author of four books on Congress and the American political system.


Price was named a “Champion of Science” by the Science Coalition, and the North Carolina National Guard awarded him the Charles Dick Medal of Merit. The North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club recognized Price as “Legislator of the Year.”

He is a recipient of the American Political Science Association's Hubert H. Humphrey Public Service Award and has been recognized for his work in housing, education, and transportation policy by Voices for AmeriCorps; the NC Low-Income Housing Coalition; the NC Public Transportation Association; the Association of Community College Trustees; the National Association of Land-Grant Colleges and State Universities, and other organizations.

Price was honored at the thirty-first Annual Freedom Fund Banquet of the Durham NAACP in 2005, and he received the William Sloane Coffin Award from Yale Divinity School in 2006 for his contributions to peace and reconciliation.

Legislative Leadership

In 2011, at the request of a bipartisan, bicameral group of Congressional leaders including Price, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences created the national Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. Co-chaired by Duke University president Richard H. Brodhead, the Commission’s aim is to bolster teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences through efforts in Congress, state governments, universities, nonprofits, and schools. 

In addition to serving on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and the House Democracy Partnership, Price serves the House Democratic Caucus as Assistant Whip. He co-chairs the Democratic Budget Group and the Democratic Caucus Faith Working Group. Price also co-chairs the National Service Caucus, the Congressional Vision Caucus, and the Congressional Humanities Caucus.