UL faculty and organizations win three LEH Annual Awards; Barry Ancelet wins Humanist of the year, the sixth UL faculty member to win the prestigious recognition. Charles Richard and the Friends of the Humanities are also recognized.

Dr. Barry Ancelet, folkolorist and professor of Francophone Studies at The University of Louisiana, has been named "Humanist of the Year" by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Ancelet is the sixth UL faculty member so honored in the 25 year history of the program (see complete list below). He was also recently awarded the 2008 Américo Paredes Prize by the American Folklore Society. (Read ultoday.com's interview with Ancelet here.)

The 2009 the "Humanities Documentary Film of the Year" is awarded to UL professor Charles E. Richard for writing and co-producing the LPB film, Louisiana Story: The Reverse Angle. Richard directs the university's Cinematic Arts Workshop, and has won numerous awards including the duPont Award, for writing & producing LPB's Louisiana: Currents of Change. The duPont Awards, administered since 1968 by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, are considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which the Journalism School also administers.

The "Chair's Award for Institutional Support" goes to The Friends of the Humanities. The group was founded 20 years ago by UL faculty and members of the Lafayette community, and the group's central mission continues to be support for humanities programs at UL. The Friends of the Humanities has garnered attention from major universities across the United States.

UL and UNO have dominated the Humanist of the Year award, with faculty winning the award five times for each school (in 1990, Drs. Pat & Milton Rickles shared the award for UL). Tulane and LSU faculty have each won the award three times, and McNeese and Centenary faculty have each won once.

In additon to the UL winners, several local individuals will also be honored. The inaugural recipient for the "Michael P. Smith Memorial Award for Documentary Photography" goes to Lafayette photographer Philip Gould, who lives near UL and whose photographs have documented Cajun & Creole culture to the world.

The 2009 "Public Humanities Programming Award" will be awarded to Gail Garcia, the community relations manager for the Iberia Parish Library. Garcia has directed three successful "Museum on Main Street" projects, five "Prime Time Family Reading Time" programs and two "Relic" adult book reading discussion groups.

Cathy Mills, an art and Louisiana history teacher at Episcopal School of Acadiana, is one of two winners of the "Humanities Teacher of the Year" Award. Her work involves teaching students about current issues in Louisiana, including coastal ecology. Mills enlisted her sixth grade students in a lobbying effort for a bill endowing geography education.

Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities
Humanist of the Year

1985: Stephen Ambrose, historian
University of New Orleans

1986: Joe Gray Taylor, historian
McNeese State University

1987: Lewis P. Simpson, literary scholar
Louisiana State University

1988: Huel D. Perkins, educator
Louisiana State University

1989: Ernest Gaines, author
The University of Louisiana

1990: Patricia and Milton Rickels, educators, Director of The UL Honors Program (Patricia)
The University of Louisiana 

1991: Earle Labor, literary scholar/editor
Centenary College

1992: Jessie Jean Poesch, art historian
Newcomb College of Tulane

1993: Donald E. Stanford, literary scholar

1994: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, historian
University of New Orleans

1996: Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., historian

1997: Richard Ford, author and literary scholar

1998: Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, literary scholar
Louisiana State University

1999: Lawrence Powell, historian
Tulane University

2000: Joseph G. Tregle, Jr., historian
University of New Orleans

2001: Glenn Conrad (deceased), historian, director of The Center for Louisiana Studies
The University of Louisiana

2002: Jason Berry, independent scholar

2003: Beth Willinger, director
Newcomb College of Tulane

2004: Douglas Brinkley, historian, author, director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies
University of New Orleans

2005: Carl Brasseaux, historian, author, director of The Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism
The University of Louisiana

2006 Nick Spitzer, host of public radio's “American Routes”
University of New Orleans

2007 Richard Gruber, executive director
Ogden Museum of Southern Art

2008 Ellis Marsalis, musician and teacher

2009 Barry Jean Ancelet, professor of Francophone Studies, folklorist
The University of Louisiana

Photograph of Barry Ancelet courtesy of David Simpson, LSUE.