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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.

The 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.

As 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.

Fr. 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.

Of 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]

 





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