Fr. Michael Suarez, SJ (Photo: University of Virginia Rare Book School)
Fr. Michael Suarez, SJ, Nominated to National Council on the Humanities
August 12, 2015 — Jesuit Father Michael Suarez has been nominated by President Obama
to join the National Council on the Humanities, a council made up of 26
distinguished citizens who contribute depth of scholarship, expertise and leadership in essential
areas of the humanities.
Once he is approved by the Senate, he will serve for a six-year term.
National Council on the Humanities serves as the advisory board for the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency and
one of the largest funders of the humanities in the United States. The
endowment provides grants to applicants for projects that strengthen teaching,
deepen scholarship and instruct the American public in the humanities — projects
such as the Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War;” The Library of America
series of American novels, essays and poems; and many lectures, discussions and
exhibitions each year.
a scholar with particular interests in books as physical objects and 18th-century
literature, Fr. Suarez’s extensive background in the humanities has prepared
him for this role. He currently serves as the director of the Rare Book School
at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia, a position he
has held since 2009. He is also a professor of English and honorary curator of
Special Collections at UVA.
Suarez was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1994
after entering the Society of Jesus in 1982. He received his master’s in
theology and Master of Divinity from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now
the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry). His research has led him as far away as Oxford University, where he was a
junior research fellow at St. John’s College and a member of the Oxford
University Faculty of English for 14 years. He taught at Fordham University in
New York for 10 years before accepting the prestigious position of director of
the Rare Book School at UVA.
the nominees, President Obama said,
“I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us
tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their
service. I look forward to working with them.” [Sources: The
White House, National
Endowment for the Humanities]