Concordia Alum receives National Humanities Medal from President Biden

Concordia Alum receives Humanitarian Medal
Concordia Alum receives Humanitarian Medal(Concordia)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 3:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Dr. Earl Lewis, a 1978 graduate of Concordia College and founding director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Solutions, was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Joe Biden during a White House ceremony March 21.

Lewis is a distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Public Policy. He is an esteemed scholar, and the author of several books. He is the first U-M faculty member to receive this award.

Lewis is the former chair of Concordia’s Board of Regents and, along with Fay Ferguson, class of ‘73, established the college’s Diversity Student Endowed Scholarship.

Since 1996, 206 National Humanities Medals have been bestowed to 190 individuals and 16 organizations. The National Humanities Medal honors an individual or organization whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history or literature, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources.

The president’s military aide read Lewis’ citation: “For writing America’s history and shaping America’s future as a social historian and academic leader, Earl Lewis has made vital contributions to the field of Black history educating generations of students while also being a leading voice for greater diversity in academia and our nation.”

“Earl Lewis chronicles African American history and explores how diversity strengthens our nation; and it does strengthen our nation,” Biden said in presenting the award.

Amy Tan, author of “The Joy Luck Club,” poet and author Richard Blanco, and author Walter Isaacson were among the other recipients of the medal.