The University of Chicago News Office
September 30, 1997 Press Contact: Julia Morse
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President Clinton awards National Humanities Medal to University of Chicago’s Martin Marty

Alumnus, Trustee also honored

Martin Marty of the University of Chicago will receive the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton in a White House ceremony Monday, Sept. 29. The internationally renowned theologian is one of 10 honorees, three of whom are affiliated with the University of Chicago.

The others are Richard Franke, retired Chairman and CEO of John Nuveen and Company Inc. and a Trustee of the University of Chicago, and noted author and broadcaster Studs Terkel, an alumnus of the University’s College and its Law School.

The National Humanities Medal is given for enriching American’s understanding of and access to the humanities. At the ceremony, President Clinton will also honor the 10 recipients of the National Medal of the Arts.

Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Modern Christianity at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and one of America’s foremost theologians and religious historians.

“No one has done more to help us understand the importance of religion in public life than Martin Marty,” said University of Chicago President Hugo Sonnenschein. “Through his dozens of books, his leadership of the Fundamentalism and Public Religion projects, his editorship of leading religious magazines, authorship of the American Religion book series and his brilliant teaching of students at the University of Chicago, Marty has enhanced our understanding of religion and helped us all to live more richly and wisely in our multi-religious society.”

The author of 50 books, Marty is also the director of the Public Religion Project Linking Religion and American Public Life and he is the senior editor of both the weekly “Christian Century"and the biweekly newsletter “Context.” His most recent book is “Under God, Indivisible,” Volume III of his Modern American Religion series published by the University of Chicago Press.

Marty was Project Director for the recently completed five-year Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which studied comparative fundamentalist religious movements around the world. He is a fellow of the two oldest scholarly societies of the United States, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,which awarded him its medal in 1995, and the American Philosophical Society.

He is past president of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History and the American Catholic Historical Association. In 1972 he won the National Book Award for Righteous Empire. Marty received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956.

Among the other recipients of the medal are Richard Franke and Studs Terkel. Franke has been a Trustee of the University since 1987 and serves on its Executive Committee, Investment Committee, Campus Planning & Neighborhood Committee and as chair of the Visiting Committee to the Division of the Humanities.

“Rich Franke has set new standards of corporate leadership in bringing the richness and beauty of the humanities to Chicagoans of all ages and backgrounds,” President Sonnenschein said. “It was Rich who conceived of the Chicago Humanities Festival, and it was he who helped develop it over the last eight years into one of the nation’s leading public festivals of high and popular culture. He has shared his vision and enthusiasm by serving as a trustee of the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Orchestral Association, WTTW, the Newberry Library and the Lyric Opera, and we are all richer for it.”

Terkel graduated from the University’s College with a bachelor’s degree in 1932 and from the Law School with a J.D. degree in 1934. A nationally-known journalist, lecturer and author, he has written 11 books, including “Working" (1974), “Race” (1992), and the Pulitzer Prize winning “The Good War” (1985).

Sonnenschein called Terkel “not just a public figure, but a public treasure. Before I came to Chicago, I read and was deeply impressed by his book ‘Race.’ After I arrived, I was proud to learn that he was a graduate of my new University.”

Terkel has for more than 40 years been heard on Chicago’s fine arts station, WFMT, where each weekday evening he hosts the Peabody Award-winning “The Studs Terkel Show.” Among his many other honors, he was given an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Massachusetts and in 1997 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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