Library of Congress to Award Drew Gilpin Faust a $1 Million Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity

Historians in the News

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced that Drew Gilpin Faust, historian, university president and author of the Bancroft Prize-winning book “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War,” will receive the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity.

The $1 million Kluge Prize, bestowed through the generosity of the late John W. Kluge, will be awarded during a gala ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress on Sept. 12, 2018.

The Kluge Prize recognizes individuals whose outstanding scholarship in the humanities and social sciences has shaped public affairs and civil society. The international prize highlights the value of researchers who communicate beyond the scholarly community and have had a major impact on social and political issues.

 “The Library of Congress is thrilled to recognize Drew Gilpin Faust for her extraordinary work researching, writing and teaching about the fabric of American life,” said Hayden. “Through her extensive writing about Southern identity, she has explored themes of deep relevance to our national conversation on race and gender. As the first female president of Harvard University, she has also led one of the most esteemed educational institutions in the world through a period of intense growth and transformation.”

“I am deeply honored to receive the Kluge Prize and would like to thank the Library of Congress for this recognition and for the vital mission it pursues on behalf of our nation,” said Faust. “The humanities and social sciences have never been more important to our understanding of society and the increasingly connected world we inhabit. They allow us to see the world through the eyes of others, to understand the common hopes and aspirations we share, to cultivate judgement and discernment, and to identify and pursue the questions that must animate our pursuit of a better future.”

As the president of one of the most prominent research universities in the world for over a decade, Faust is credited with fostering academic and operational collaboration among Harvard College and the university’s graduate and professional schools; opening Harvard’s community to new and diverse populations; advancing the university’s educational mission in the arts, sciences, engineering and the humanities; placing new emphasis on innovation in learning and interdisciplinary programs; expanding the institution’s global footprint; and modernizing governance and administrative structures.

Hayden selected Faust from a short list of finalists following a request for nominations from scholars and leaders all over the world and a three-stage review process by experts inside and outside the Library. 

The Kluge Prize is administered by the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress. The Kluge Center’s mission, as established in 2000, is to “reinvigorate the interconnection between thought and action,” bridging the gap between scholarship and policymaking. 

To that end, the Kluge Center brings some of the world’s great thinkers to the Library to make use of the Library collections and engage in conversations addressing the challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. For more information, visit

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