Human Ties Awards

About the Human Ties Awards

UHC’s annual awards began in 1998 in order to recognize individuals whose work exemplifies UHC’s mission of helping Utahns explore the past, participate actively in the present, and shape the future. In most cases, nominations have come from the board of directors, alumni, and staff. UHC also receives occasional nominations from the public and has been conscious of highlighting various disciplines, institutions, and locations.

2010 Keynote Speaker and Reception

The Utah Humanities Council's 22nd annual Human Ties Awards was held Jim Leach Thursday, May 27, 2010, with keynote speaker Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Chairman Leach will spoke in the Salt Lake City Library at as part of his national Civility tour and to commemorate UHC's 35th anniversary. "Bridging cultural divides and developing a sense for a common humanity are moral and social imperatives," Mr. Leach said in launching the tour. "Civilization requires civility. Words matter...little is more important for the world's leading democracy in this change-intensive century than establishing an ethos of thoughtfulness and decency of expression in the public square." A former Republican Congressman who represented southeastern Iowa for 30 years, Mr. Leach was appointed by President Obama to head the NEH in 2009. Incivility has occurred before in U.S. history, as Chairman Leach acknowledges in the interview recently published in the spring issue of Human Ties, UHC’s newsletter.   

2010 Annual Awards

Governor’s Award in the Humanities: Fred Adams, Founder of the Utah Shakespearean Festival
Fred AdamsThe Utah Shakespearean Festival presents life-affirming classic and contemporary plays in repertory, with Shakespeare as our cornerstone. The plays are enhanced by interactive festival experiences which entertain, enrich, and educate.  Going into its forty-ninth season, it is one of the oldest and largest Shakespearean festivals in North America.  The Utah Shakespearean Festival has also been the recipient of numerous other awards, including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the Best of State Award in arts and entertainment.

Festival Founder Fred C. Adams, having just come to Cedar City after trying out the New York theatre scene for a few years, was new to the College of Southern Utah (now Southern Utah University) in 1959. However, seeing 150,000 annual summer tourists to the area, he knew he had a great potential audience for a theatre festival. Excited by the idea, he packed up his notes and ideas and visited Ashland, Oregon, the site of the granddaddy of all Shakespeare festivals, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While there, he closely observed operations and was befriended by Angus Bowmer, the OSF founder, whom Adams interviewed extensively. On the long ride back to Cedar City, the Utah Shakespearean Festival was born.

Adams has received the following awards:  Utah Theatre Association's Lifetime Service Award (2000), the Institute of Outdoor Drama's Mark R. Sumner Award (1998), and the First Annual Governor's Award in the Arts (1989).  He served as executive director of the festival from its founding until 2005, when he retired, though he continues to advise and assist the program.

Founder’s Award: Delmont Oswald, UHC’s Founding Director
DelmontA member of the founding board during its planning stage during 1974, Delmont Oswald taught history at BYU while working on his Ph.D. He was named the first director of the Utah Endowment for the Humanities in 1975 and served in that position until his untimely death in 1997. Under his leadership, the organization grew from a modest affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities to a multi-faceted nonprofit serving the entire state. A prodigious reader, Delmont became known as “Mr. Humanities” during his tenure.

Partnership Award:  Laurel Casjens, Utah Office of Museum Services
Laurel CasjensThe Office of Museum Services (OMS) is a state agency whose mission is to advance the value of museums within Utah and to enable the broadest physical, intellectual and emotional access to collections and programs. The Office assists Utah museums in improving their ability to:

    • care for and manage collections
    • develop quality educational resources
    • provide access to collections for research
    • identify and successfully compete for financial resources

Laurel Casjens has worked in Utah museums since 1983, including stints as a Photographer and Curator of Collections at the Utah Museum of Natural History and Curator of Education at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures.  In 2006 she joined the staff of the Utah Office of Museum Services, where she has had the enviable position of helping the small museums of Utah improve their collections care, exhibits, interpretive labeling, and every other part of museum practice by presenting workshops and individual consultation.

She holds a BA in Geology (Macalester College) and PhD in Archaeology (Harvard University), but always knew she wanted to work in museums.  Her greatest joy has been freely helping the hardworking staff and volunteers of Utah’s museums preserve our heritage and tell our stories.

Human Ties Award:  Utah History Fair, Nicholas Demas
Nicholas DemasFor nearly three decades, the Utah History Fair, a program housed at Utah State University and Utah’s National History Day affiliate, has provided an exciting extra-curricular avenue for Utah’s 4-12 grade students to showcase their research-based history projects statewide.  Annually, more than 10,000 students per year start History Fair projects in hopes of representing Utah at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland.  The Utah History Fair thrives in Utah in part because of its long association with the Utah Humanities Council.  The Utah History Fair turns 30 in October.

Nicholas A. Demas grew up on a small suburban farm west of West Bountiful.  He attended Weber State University and Utah State University.  Prior to becoming the director of the Utah History Fair in 2006, Nicholas worked for the late Mike Johnson, then director, as the program’s graduate assistant.  Nicholas contributed to “Beehive Archive” in 2008.  He currently resides in Salt Lake City.

Human Ties Award:  Smithfield Oral Histories, William Thornley
William ThornleyAt the 150th anniversary of Smithfield in 2009, William Thornley spearheaded a project to share some of the town’s heritage through dozens of oral histories through an Oral History Grant from UHC, the Division of State History, and Utah State University.  Four boxes of 84 cassette tapes consisting of interviews and proceedings of meetings in Smithfield between 1977 and 1984 were examined and evaluated.  The oral histories were digitally copied, burned to CD’s for preservation, and then transcribed. 

William Thornley received a BS degree in Dairy Food Manufacture and a MS degree in microbiology from Utah State University.  After a military assignment in Korea he was engaged in research with the US Chemical Corps.  In 1989 he was chosen by the State of Utah to travel to the Soviet Union in an effort to develop business relations with Russian groups.  As a result of five trips to the Soviet Union he helped establish seed farms in Russia to provide high quality seed supplies to farmers then gaining an opportunity to grow their own crops as they were gaining independence from the large communal farms.   

Mr. Thornley is CEO of Heritage Glass, Inc. which provides stained glass aggregate to Terrazzo and decorative concrete user’s worldwide.  He was recently named CEO of the Clark and Gladys Thornley Foundation, a not for profit organization formed to assist the public in recording oral histories and making them available for use by the public. 

William and Velda live in North Logan, Utah and enjoy community and church service, in addition to grand children and travels as the opportunities become available.      

Human Ties Award:  Confluence in Moab, Laurie Collins and Andy Nettell
Andy NettellConfluence, A Celebration of Reading and Writing in Moab began in 2008 as a collaboration between the Grand County Public Library, the Canyonlands Field Institute, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (City of Moab), Moab Poets and Writers, and Back of Beyond Books.  In 2008 we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire and hosted 25 writers for an intensive 3-day writing workshop with faculty members Craig Childs, Amy Irvine and Jack Loeffler.  "Eating the West" fed our literary souls in 2009 as we looked at sustainable agriculture and explored the connections between people, place and food.  Intensive writing coupled with intensive eating, movies, tequila tastings and more rounded out 2009.  This year, Confluence will focus on water and the west and feature a duel track of scheduling highlighting the art of writing and illustrating children's books, while providing an academic look at watershed issues in Utah and beyond.

A founding member of Confluence is Andy Nettell, owner of Back of Beyond Books and Arches Book Company in Moab, UT.  When not reading, Andy helps promote the arts in southeast Utah and has begun a rare and collectible book business within Back of Beyond Books.


Test your knowledge of America’s uncivil past below.

Our Uncivil Past   

1.  Which early American President is being referred to in the two newspaper editorials below?

“Many a private person might make a great President; but will there ever be a President who will make so great a man as _____?”

“If ever a nation was debauched by a man, the American nation has been debauched by ___________, [for committing] the foulest designs against the liberties of the people.”  

A.  Thomas Jefferson
B.  John Adams
C.  George Washington
D.  James Monroe

2.  Which Supreme Court Justice was burned in effigy in angry public protests against him?

A.  William Taft
B.  John Jay
C.  Warren Burger
D.  William Rehnquist

3.  When Aaron Burr challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel, mortally wounding him, they held what positions in the federal government? 

A.  Senator and Secretary of State
B.  Vice President and former Secretary of the Treasury
C.  Secretary of State and Representative
D.  Representative and Senator

4.   Under which President  was an Act passed that made it legal to imprison or fine those who "write, print, utter, or publish . . . any false, scandalous and malicious writing" against the government?

A.  John Adams
B.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt
C.  Woodrow Wilson
D.  Abraham Lincoln

5.  Which President hated his Vice-President so publicly and fiercely, that he eventually forced him to resign?

A.  Richard Nixon
B.  Andrew Jackson
C.  Abraham Lincoln
D.  Ulysses S. Grant

6.  A Senator from which state called a Senator from South Carolina “an imbecile” on the floor of the U.S. Senate?

A.  Massachusetts
B.  New York
C.  Connecticut
D.  Kentucky

7.  A Representative from which state took his gold tipped cane and, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, beat a Senator from Massachusetts on the head, nearly to his death?

A.  Virginia
B.  New Jersey
C.  South Carolina
D.  Georgia

8.  In the 19th century, what city saw a group of leading citizens unseat the elected government, and, in response to violence and lawlessness, impose martial law and rule the city as a “Committee of Vigilance” handling out swift “justice” to lawbreakers?

A.  New York
B.  Baltimore
C. Chicago
D. San Francisco

9.  Under which administration did FBI agents break into the homes of suspected anarchists, without search warrants, and hold about 5,000 American citizens without respecting their right to legal counsel?

A.  Woodrow Wilson
B.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt
C.  Ronald Reagan
D.  Harry Truman

10.  Who ordered troops of the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock, Arkansas, to protect nine African American children trying to attend school from an angry mob of white citizens trying to stop them? 

A.  General Douglas MacArthur
B.  Dwight D. Eisenhower
C.  Lyndon Johnson
D.  Harry S. Truman

Quiz Answers:

1. C 2. B 3. B 4. A 5. B 6. A 7. C 8. D 9. A 10. B