THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES WILLIAM R. FERRIS AS CHAIR OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
The President today announced his intent to nominate William R. Ferris to be Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Ferris, of Oxford, Mississippi, is Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and a Professor of Anthropology at The University of Mississippi. He is the author of over 100 publications including 10 books. He has been at The University of Mississippi since 1978, prior to which he taught American and Afro-American Studies at Yale University. Under his direction, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture has gained international prominence as a source of information on the South, holding conferences on topics ranging from William Faulkner to Elvis Presley. Dr. Ferris has received recognition as an internationally renowned folklorist and anthropologist. In 1995, the President presented Ferris with the Charles Frankel Prize for the Humanities. Rolling Stone magazine named Dr. Ferris one of the Top 10 professors in the country in 1991. He was also awarded with the Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. The 1989 publication of the widely acclaimed Encyclopedia of Southern Culture garnered major awards as well as a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.
Dr. Ferris received his B.A. from Davidson College and an M.A. in English literature from Northwestern University. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in folklore at the University of Pennsylvania.
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency headed by a Chair appointed by the President. This agency plays a vital role in promoting the benefits of the humanities in our diverse nation.