Nominations for 2015 Caldwell Award for the Humanities

Nominations for 2015 Caldwell Award for the Humanities

You are invited to nominate candidates for consideration by the trustees as the recipient of the annual John Tyler Caldwell Award for the humanities.

John Tyler Caldwell, the first recipient of this distinguished award, was a founding member of the North Carolina Humanities Council. He served twelve years as a Senior Staff Consultant to the Humanities Council after his retirement as Chancellor of North Carolina State University. Caldwell was responsible for establishing NCSU’s School of the Humanities, and he played a vital role in bringing the National Humanities Center to North Carolina and the Research Triangle Park.

Caldwell believed that public education in the humanities was essential for good citizenship in a pluralistic democracy. He was convinced that more opportunities for learning throughout life must be made available to all North Carolinians. The uniqueness of the state humanities councils, which Caldwell championed, was that they joined education and citizenship to create new kinds of public spaces where citizens might learn together. Involving scholars from the state’s colleges and universities with people from North Carolina communities, public humanities programs have become exciting forums for speaking and thinking with others of different points of view, exploring, debating, reflecting, learning together.


The North Carolina Humanities Council seeks to recognize and honor distinguished individuals who, by their achievements and contributions, strengthen the educational, cultural, and civic life of North Carolina through the humanities.

The word humanities refers to the study of human values, traditions, ideals, thoughts, and actions. As defined by Congress, the humanities include but are not limited to history, philosophy, languages, literature, linguistics, archaeology, jurisprudence, art history and criticism, ethics, comparative religion, and those aspects of the social sciences employing historical or philosophical approaches.

Nominees should be persons whose commitment to the humanities is profound and who have the ability to raise the fundamental questions of meaning in ways that are accessible and imaginative. Examples might include those who

  • Demonstrate significant scholarly achievement that leads to greater public understanding and appreciation for the humanities;
  • Work closely with community organizations to facilitate conversations about matters of concern to all citizens;
  • Instill a passion for learning through their teaching of the humanities;
  • Use the perspective of the humanities in shaping public policy.



The 2015 John Tyler Caldwell Award recipient will be chosen at the Humanities Council’s March 6, 2015 meeting.

A nomination includes the following:

1) The name of the trustee or nominee making the nomination;

2) A brief description of the contributions and achievements of the nominee and the most compelling reasons why the person should receive the Caldwell award (no more than 1 1/2 pages);

3) Two to three other pieces of support materials such as letters of reference or print materials related to the nomination.

Nominations must be submitted by February 20, 2015. Please email them to Executive Director Paula Watkins at Nominations will be evaluated by the PR/Development Committee who will then forward a name to the full Council for approval at the March meeting.