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Governor’s Awards in the Humanities

Save the date for the celebration! Sunday, October 23, 5:00-7:00 pm, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston.

Started in 2014, the Massachusetts Governor’s Awards in the Humanities recognize excellence in the humanities. Mass Humanities partners with the Office of the Governor to name the awardees.

Proceeds from sponsorships, ticket sales, and direct donations benefit the organizations and programs that Mass Humanities supports each year, including The Clemente Course in the Humanities, Reading Frederick Douglass Together, the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street initiative, and the more than 200 Massachusetts non-profits receiving funding from the foundation each year.

Callie Crossley

Callie Crossley is host of Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and presents radio essays each Monday on GBH’s Morning Edition. She also hosts Basic Black, which focuses on current events impacting communities of color, and serves as on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Wellesley College.

Frances Jones-Sneed

Professor of history and former Director of Women’s Studies at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Frances Jones-Sneed teaches and researches local history, focusing on African Americans. She directed three National Endowment for the Humanities grants and is co-director of the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail.

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee is a national leader in advancing women’s equality and representation in American politics and in the field of contemporary art. She founded and leads the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which endowed a nonpartisan training program for women at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an internship program at the Massachusetts State House for students at Simmons College in Boston.

Fredric Rutberg

Fred Rutberg is the president and publisher of New England Newspapers, Inc., which owns The Berkshire Eagle located in Pittsfield, MA. The Eagle is a daily paper that serves all of Berkshire County and adjacent areas of Connecticut and New York State.

The 2022 Awards Committee: Co-chairs Amy Macdonald and Marita Rivero; Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Al Griggs, Jeff Musman, and Nancy Netzer

Sponsors to date


Berkshire Health Systems

Al & Sally Griggs

Lia & Bill Poorvu

Laura Roberts & Ed Belove

Howard & Fredi Stevenson



Eastern Bank


Ronald Hertel

K | B Private Wealth Management Group


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

John Burgess and Nancy Adams

Steve Immerman

Paula Johnson/Wellesley College

Celinda Lake/Lake Research Partners

Mass College of Liberal Arts

Kristin McGurn

Jeff Musman

Seyfarth Shaw LLC

Raymond James

Last Year: The 2021 Governor’s Awards

The 2021 virtual celebration was livestreamed on Sunday, October 24. You can watch the program below, honoring John Burgess, Annette Gordon-Reed, Sonia Nieto, and Heather Cox Richardson.

Past Awardees


  • John Burgess
  • Heather Cox Richardson
  • Annette Gordon-Reed
  • Sonia Nieto


  • Al Griggs
  • jessie little doe baird
  • Lee Pelton
  • Fredericka Stevenson


  • Danielle Allen
  • Lee Blake
  • Nancy Donahue
  • Jeffrey Musman


  • Ellen Dunlap
  • David Harris
  • Nancy Netzer
  • David Tebaldi


  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • Sasha Pfeiffer
  • David Starr


  • Frieda Garcia
  • Atul Gawande
  • Lia Poorvu


  • Lowell Institute
  • Margaret Marshall
  • Margot Stern Strom


  • Jill Ker Conway
  • Hubie Jones
  • J. Donald Monan, S.J.
  • Malcolm Roger

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