President Obama Awards 2012 National Humanities Medals

This week  President Obama presented 12 outstanding humanists with National Humanities Medals.  The medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors 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. Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.

Notable among the medalists for his North Carolina connection is Edward L. Ayers, the president of the University of Richmond, who was born in the North Carolina mountains. 

Ayers was selected for his commitment to making our history as widely available and accessible as possible. Ayers’s innovations in digital humanities extend higher learning beyond campus boundaries and allow broad audiences to discover the past in new ways.

In addition, Ayers is active in state council work with the Virginia Federation of the Humanities, serving as a cohost for their popular radio program and podcast  BackStory with the American History Guys.

Learn more about the other 11 medalists here. Watch the awards presentation below.