ASU’s Project Humanities was selected as the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s inaugural recipient for the Key of Excellence Award at a Dec. 4 ceremony in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was the launch of The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s National Arts & Sciences Initiative, which recognized the project for its leadership and impact.
“Project Humanities received unanimous support in our selection process for its leadership in local and national conversations about the breadth, depth, and value of the humanities across disciplines,” said John Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. “Project Humanities is successfully blending academic research, community outreach, student development and interdisciplinary approaches in compelling frameworks created by and enjoyed throughout the community. We applaud their vision and believe their efforts deserve Phi Beta Kappa’s national spotlight.”
The Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded in 1776 and is the oldest and most widely known academic honor society in America. It celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and has more than 500,000 members participating in chapters at 283 U.S. colleges and universities.
Neal Lester, a Foundation Professor of English who helped to create and has directed Project Humanities since its inception, accepted the award and a $5,000 cash prize to support continued work.
“The pursuit of meaningfulness, integrity, and truth is at the heart of the work of Project Humanities, and we are committed to finding common ground where talking, listening and connecting do matter,” said Lester.
ASU’s Project Humanities is a university-wide initiative that promotes and showcases the range, relevance and diversity of faculty and student humanities research and outreach. The project sponsors or co-sponsors approximately 100 programs a year. The theme for spring 2014 is “Humanity 101: Creating A Movement,” and events will focus on seven values foundational to all success: empathy, integrity, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, respect and self-reflection.