And the Newberry Library Award Goes to... | Newberry

And the Newberry Library Award Goes to...

March 2016

Beginning in its centennial year in 1987, the Newberry has presented the Newberry Library Award to an individual or organization for their outstanding contributions to the humanities. On Monday, April 11, the tradition will continue with the presentation of the award to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Founded in 1969, The Mellon Foundation is one of the largest supporters of the humanities in the United States, having awarded more than 15,000 grants totaling more than $5.8 billion to institutions of higher learning and culture. The impact of this support, while global, has been especially strong right here in Chicago. An array of Chicago-area cultural institutions have implemented their core missions with the aid of Mellon funding, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Humanities Festival, the Field Museum, Lookingglass Theatre, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Newberry.

“The Mellon Foundation’s role in developing the vibrant cultural ecosystem of Chicago cannot be overstated,” said Newberry President David Spadafora. “We’re honored to recognize an organization whose objectives align so compellingly with our own: to promote research and learning in the humanities so that we may enliven our experiences with the arts and enrich our understanding of the world.”

Earl Lewis, President of The Mellon Foundation, and Danielle Allen, Chair of the Board of Trustees, will accept the Newberry Library Award on behalf of the foundation.

“The Mellon Foundation is honored to be recognized with the Newberry Library Award,” said Lewis. “The Newberry’s extensive collections and its dedication to promoting knowledge and scholarship in the humanities make it an important member of Chicago’s cultural landscape and a true national treasure.”

Previous recipients of the Newberry Library Award include Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer; David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author; Hanna H. Gray, President Emerita, University of Chicago; Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton University; and Jonathan D. Spence, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University.

The Mellon Foundation will be presented with the 2016 Newberry Library Award by David Spadafora and Victoria J. Herget, Chair of the Newberry Board of Trustees.

For information on attending the Award Dinner, please email Jo Anne Moore at or call (312) 255-3556.