Call for Nominations for the 2017 John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities

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The 2017 John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities - Call for Nominations

You are invited to nominate candidates for 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 Senior Staff Consultant to the Council after his retirement as Chancellor of North Carolina State University (NCSU). Caldwell was responsible for establishing NCSU’s School of the Humanities, and 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 all North Carolinians should have more opportunities for learning throughout life. 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. Public humanities programs connect scholars from the state’s colleges and universities with people from North Carolina’s communities, creating exciting forums for speaking and thinking with others of different points of view, and for exploring, debating, reflecting, and learning together.


With the Caldwell Award, 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 profoundly committed to the humanities who can raise the fundamental questions of meaning in accessible and imaginative ways. Examples 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 2017 John Tyler Caldwell Award recipient will be selected at the Council’s Board of Trustees’ meeting in May.

Please include the following in the nomination:

  1. Name of the person making the nomination
  2. Name of the person nominated (nominee)
  3. Brief description of nominee’s contributions and achievements and the most compelling reasons why the person should receive the Caldwell award (no more than 1 1/2 pages)
  4. Two to three other pieces of support materials, such as letters of reference or print materials related to the nomination.

Submission Deadline: January 24, 2017

Please email submissions to Executive Director Paula Watkins at