President George W. Bush awarded a 2007 National Humanities Medal to UCSC alumnus Victor Davis Hanson on November 15 during a ceremony held in the White House East Room. Hanson was one of nine Americans honored for their "exemplary contributions to the humanities" and for their scholarship, preservation efforts, philanthropy, and literary works.
The National Humanities Medal, first awarded in 1989 as the Charles Frankel Prize, honors individuals or groups whose work "has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities." Over the last decade, the National Humanities Medal has been awarded to only 98 individuals and 7 organizations. Medal recipients do not compete for this award but are specially selected by the President for their lifelong achievements in their diverse areas of expertise. Previous award winners include Bernard Lewis, Judith "Miss Manners" Martin, Madeleine L'Engle, Harvey Mansfield, and John Updike.
Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has also written or edited 16 books; his latest, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005 and named one of the New York Times' Notable 100 Books of 2006.
Hanson received his B.A. from UCSC in 1975 and earned his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University in 1980. He is currently a senior research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, a professor emeritus at California University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College in Michigan, where each fall he teaches courses in military history and classical culture. Hanson was the recipient of the UCSC Alumni Association's Achievement Award in 2001.