To receive the N.C. Humanities Council's top honor puts one in distinguished company. The first recipient was John Tyler Caldwell, chancellor of N.C. State University from 1959 to 1975 and one of this state's great educators. This year, the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities is going to someone else whose academic field was political science, Democratic U.S. Rep. David Price of Chapel Hill.
Price was on the Duke faculty before first winning election to the House in 1986. He is notable for working across party lines to promote causes such as the spread of democratic institutions abroad. He also has been honored by the Yale Divinity School, from which he holds a degree.
The Caldwell Award is given to "individuals whose life and work illuminate one or more of the multiple dimensions of human life where the humanities come into play: civic, personal, intellectual and moral." Other recipients have included John Hope Franklin, Bill Friday and Reynolds Price - in the humanities, the cream of North Carolina's crop.