Today, President Obama awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal to 12 distinguished individuals and organizations:
- Rudolfo Anaya, Author
- José Andrés, Chef & Entrepreneur
- Ron Chernow, Author
- Louise Glück, Poet
- Terry Gross, Radio Host & Producer
- Wynton Marsalis, Composer & Musician
- James McBride, Author
- Louis Menand, Author
- Elaine Pagels, Historian & Author
- Prison University Project, Higher Education Program
- Abraham Verghese, Physician, Professor, & Author
- Isabel Wilkerson, Journalist & Author
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) manages the nominations process for the National Humanities Medal on behalf of the White House. Each year, the NEH invites nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Humanities, NEH’s presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.
The first National Humanities Medal was awarded in 1997; a total of 187 medals have been bestowed to date.