Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Loyola Public History Program Wins NCPH Founders Award

I am delighted to announce some good news:  this month, the History Department’s Public History Program received the prestigious 2021 Founders Award from the National Council on Public History (NCPH).  The award recognizes four decades of leadership by Loyola historians in nurturing, growing, and transforming the practice of public history in the U.S. 

The NCPH award citation recognizes the entire Loyola Public History Program, but it especially spotlights the work of faculty Ted Karamanski and Pat Mooney-Melvin.  Both have served as president of the NCPH, as board members for many years, and as editorial board members of the NCPH journal, The Public Historian.  Both played formative roles in the NCPH’s early years during the 1980s, with Dr. Karamanski leading the national effort to develop a code of ethics for public historians and Dr. Mooney-Melvin working to develop pedagogies for the teaching of public history at universities across the country.  And both continue to tireless promote the field of public history, encouraging new generations to explores its boundaries and diversify its practice.  

The award citation also highlights the reach of Loyola’s Public History Program and the varied ways it has contributed to and shaped the important process of sharing history and historical insights in a wide range of venues.  Over 200 graduates completed an impressive array of public history projects while at Loyola and then gone on to work across the country in museums, historical societies, government agencies, and universities.  Our public history network continues to thrive and our graduates represent an important part of our program's success. 

Numerous faculty have been involved in growing our Public History Program over many years, and it is worth listing them: Elizabeth Fraterrigo, Elizabeth Hopwood, Kyle Roberts, Kathy Young, Chis Manning, Meaghan McChesney, Janet Nolan, Harold Platt, Terri Fife, Valerie Browne, Patrick Quin, Calinda Lee, and Louise Año Nuevo Kerr. 

Both the NCPH and Loyola’s Public History program started in 1980 and both celebrated their 40th anniversary last year.  I expect the tight bonds between the two programs will continue for decades to come, as the practice of public history is more essential than ever as our nation seeks to tell new stories about its past and wrestle with its difficult history.

Congratulations to the Loyola Public History Faculty, and especially Drs. Karamanski and Mooney-Melvin, for a career’s worth of accomplishment in defining and transforming the field of public history.

D. Bradford Hunt, History Department Chair

Click here to view a brief video presentation of the 2021 NCPH Founders Award. 

30 March 2021