Thursday, July 6, 2006

College Appoints Historian, Essayist Adam Goodheart to Head C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience

Chestertown, MD, July 5, 2006 — Washington College has appointed historian and essayist Adam Goodheart as the new director of the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Office of the President announced Wednesday, July 5. Goodheart, who served as a visiting fellow of the Center during the past four years, succeeds Ted Widmer, a presidential historian and former speechwriter for the Clinton Administration's National Security Council, who directed the Center since its inception in 2000 and will now direct the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

"During his tenure as a C.V. Starr Fellow, Adam proved himself indispensable to the Center, helping to establish learning and research opportunities for our undergraduates, outreach and programs for the broader public, and an intense focus on the rich history of Chestertown and our region," said Baird Tipson, President of Washington College. "I am confident that as director Adam will continue to find new opportunities for the Center that enhance our student experience and break new ground in the study of American history."

"I'm honored to be asked to serve an institution I love, Washington College, in this new capacity," Goodheart said. "The Starr Center has accomplished some great things in its few short years of existence, but I think the best is yet to come. Right now more than ever, it is clear that a deeper understanding of our shared history is essential to the success of America's continuing democratic experiment. I hope that the Center—and Washington College as a whole—can play an ever-greater role in that urgent national conversation."

A historian, critic, and prolific essayist, Goodheart appears frequently in many national publications, including the New York Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and The American Scholar, writing on American history, culture, and politics. Throughout his career, his work has focused on drawing connections between the past and the present.

Goodheart was a founder, senior editor, and columnist at Civilization, the magazine of the Library of Congress, which won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in its first year of publication.

He was appointed one of the youngest editorial board members in the history of The American Scholar, the Phi Beta Kappa Society's distinguished quarterly, where he continues to serve as a contributing editor. He is a contributing editor at Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and at Travel & Leisure, as well as a member of the Board of Incorporators at Harvard Magazine and the Board of Contributors at USA Today. He served as Deputy Editor of the New York Times Op-Ed page and remains a frequent contributor to various sections of the paper. He has appeared on National Public Radio, PBS Television, CNN, C-SPAN, and many other broadcast outlets.

Among the prizes Goodheart's work has received are the Lowell Thomas Award of the Society of American Travel Writers (2004) and the Henry Lawson Award for Travel Writing (2005); his essays have appeared in numerous anthologies—including the prestigious Norton Reader—and received numerous citations in the Best American Essays series. He is currently writing a book on slavery in early America, under contract with Alfred A. Knopf.

Since 2002, Goodheart has been a part-time visiting fellow and lecturer at Washington College, where he has taught courses in American Studies, English, and History. Through his affiliation with the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, he has created and implemented a wide range of successful programs, including the Senatorial Colloquy on American History and Politics (with former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh), the Frederick Douglass Fellowships, and the Chestertown History Weekend.

Goodheart is a 1992 graduate in American history and literature, magna cum laude, of Harvard College, where he won the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize and the Henry Russell Shaw Fellowship, among other honors. A native of Philadelphia, he now lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Established in 2000 with a grant from the New York-based Starr Foundation, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience draws on the special historical strengths of Washington College and colonial Chestertown to explore the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture through innovative educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach. In cooperation with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington's Mount Vernon, the Center administers the George Washington Book Prize, a $50,000 annual prize recognizing outstanding published works that contribute to a greater understanding of the life and career of George Washington and/or the founding era.

News about upcoming events and programs sponsored by the Center is available online at

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