Outstanding Figures of Yale Community Win NEH Medals

Three distinguished members of the Yale community are among 11 Americans who will be awarded 2005 National Humanities Medals in a White House ceremony today. They are John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of History and Political Science at Yale, and Yale alumni Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, co-founders of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale.

Gaddis is one of the nation’s most prominent historians of the Cold War and a leading authority on national security and international relations. Educated at the University of Texas in Austin, Gaddis has taught at Ohio University, the United States Naval War College, the University of Helsinki, Princeton University and Oxford University. He joined the Yale faculty in 1997. His books include “The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1947” (1972); “Russia, the Soviet Union and the United States: An Interpretive History” (1978); “Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy” (1982); “The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War” (1987); “The United States and the End of the Cold War: Reconsiderations, Implications, Provocations” (1992); “We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History” (1997); “The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past” (2002); and “Surprise, Security, and the American Experience” (2004). Several of his earlier works have been reissued in later editions. His latest book, “The Cold War: A New History,” will be published by Penguin at the end of this year. Gaddis teaches Cold War history, grand strategy, international studies, and biography at Yale, where he was the 2003 recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa William Clyde DeVane Award for undergraduate teaching. Since 2001, Gaddis has served as Acting Director of International Security Studies and he chairs the International Affairs Council at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. He is on the advisory board of the Cold War International History Project and is currently working on a biography of George F. Kennan.

Gilder is co-founder and co-chairman of the Gilder Lehrman Collection and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American history, which promotes the love and study of American History through a variety of programs reaching all 50 states. In 1998 Gilder and Lehrman established the Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale in their name. They are also founders and sponsors of the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the Frederick Douglass Book Award, and the George Washington Book Prize. In 1971, Gilder pioneered the renovation of Central Park and in 1978 became a founding and continuing trustee of the Central Park Conservancy. He also participated in the transformation of the Hayden Planetarium and of its parent, the American Museum of Natural History, into the world-class institutions they have become. In 2003 he joined the Board of the New York Historical Society, where he serves as co-chairman, and he is a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the American Museum of Natural History. Gilder heads the brokerage firm Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.

Lehrman is a senior partner in L. E. Lehrman & Co., an investment firm he established, and the co-founder and co-chairman of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Institute promotes the teaching of history in American high schools and colleges through seminars, workshops, an extensive Web site and fellowship programs allowing scholars access to original documents in their collections. In 1983 Lehrman was the Cardinal Cooke honoree of the Archdiocese of New York for his early work in developing the Inner City Scholarship Fund. He has been a trustee of the American Enterprise Institute, the Morgan Library, the Manhattan Institute and the Heritage Foundation. He is a former chairman of the Committee on Humanities of the Yale University Council. In 1987, Lehrman joined Morgan Stanley & Company, investment bankers, as a senior advisor and a director of Morgan Stanley Asset Management. In 1988, he became a managing director of the firm. Lehrman has written books and articles on American history, national security and economic and monetary policy and co-authored the book “Money and the Coming World Order” (1976). He lectures and writes on economic and American history, contributing articles on those subjects to such publications as Harper’s, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and National Review. In addition to his writing on historical figures, he teaches a seminar on Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg College. He is the managing partner of the Gilder Lehrman Collection at the New York Historical Society, where he is also a trustee. Lehrman is co-founder of the Lincoln Prize, for the best scholarly work on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. The Gilder Lehrman Institute is a co-sponsor of the George Washington Book Prize. Lehrman is a trustee of the Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale, which gives the annual Frederick Douglass Prize. He is chairman of The Lehrman Institute, a public policy research and grant-making foundation founded in 1972. The Lehrman Institute created The Lincoln Institute, which has promoted the study of America’s 16th president—particularly through five Web sites (see: www.abrahamlincoln.org).

Two other recipients of this year’s NEH medal also have Yale affiliations: Eva Brann, writer and long-time teacher at St. John’s College, earned a doctorate in archaeology at Yale, and Walter Berns, a leading authority on the history of the U.S. Constitution, has taught at Yale.

President George W. Bush will award the 2005 National Humanities Medal at a ceremony at the White House on November 10. The National Humanities Medal, first awarded in 1989 as the Charles Frankel Prize, honors individuals and organizations whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand America’s access to important humanities resources.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345