At the Stanford Historical Society Annual Meeting on May 17th, 2022, SHS Co-Vice President Charles Junkerman presented the society’s annual awards, recognizing the recipients of the Beyers Prize for Excellence in Historical Writing, the Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award, and the Karen Bartholomew Award for Exceptional Volunteer Service.
The winners of the 2022 Beyers Prize for Excellence in Historical Writing were Stanford undergraduates Jevan Yu and Julia Milani. Yu’s essay “Tainted Fruits of Labor: The Stanford Grape Controversy, 1988-2000” places a well-known campus event, the 1994 student hunger strike by Chicano students, into a longer history and context of farmworkers’ activism. The award selection committee noted Yu’s excellent use of primary and secondary sources and the initiative Yu showed in conducting new interviews with key figures in the controversy as part of the research. Milani’s essay “Playing the Game at Your Own Risk” explores the culture of dating and sexuality at Stanford in the 1930s. The selection committee commended her careful and nuanced reading of a variety of historical sources, including diaries, student letters, and university publications, to reveal not only how the youth culture of the era could seem liberating for women but also how it “reflected assumptions of female sexual consent and encouraged pressuring behavior.”
The Beyers Prize is named in honor of Robert W. Beyers, director of Stanford News Service from 1961 to 1990. It recognizes Stanford students’ awareness of and interest in the university’s history, as demonstrated through the use of the University Archives, Stanford Libraries, and other sources. The prize includes a $500 cash award and a one-year membership in the society.
The 2022 Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award was awarded to Michael Kahan and Nova Meurice for the Urban Studies at 50 Oral History Project, which explored the origins and evolution of Stanford’s Program on Urban Studies through interviews with key figures. Kahan, a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and the co-director of the program, and Meurice, a senior at Stanford majoring in comparative literature, together conceived of, researched, and designed the project in recognition of the program’s 50th anniversary.
The award selection committee was impressed by the manner in which the Urban Studies at 50 project made the institutional history of one of Stanford’s longest-lived interdisciplinary research and teaching programs come to life, situated it in historical context, and peopled it with the varied perspectives of program alumni, staff, and faculty. As the committee wrote in its award citation, “Your contributions to the archival record on the involvement of students in impacting the university’s curriculum will be of especially great benefit to scholars and the university community in decades to come.” Watch an interview with this year’s winners here.
With the support of the Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program, the Urban Studies at 50 interviews have been deposited in the Stanford University Archives and are now available online.
Established in 2018, the Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award is given annually by the Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program for excellence in the practice of oral history. Its purpose is to encourage oral history at Stanford University, to strengthen the collections of the Stanford Historical Society and the Stanford Libraries, and to recognize excellent quality in oral history work.
Larry N. Horton took home the 2022 Karen Bartholomew Award, the Society’s award for exceptional service, in recognition of his sustained, wise, and productive service to the SHS Board of Directors, the Programs Committee, and the Oral HIstory Committee. Horton, a Stanford alum who joined the university’s staff in 1970 and retired as Stanford’s senior associate vice president and director of government and community relations in 2013, was praised for sharing “an institutional knowledge that is miles deep, a sound strategic perspective, and a spirit of ‘daring to know’ about the past” with his society colleagues. Horton’s nominators called out the many innovative programs about Stanford’s history that he conceived and shepherded, including the May 2022 program “Who Killed Jane Stanford?” featuring historian Richard White, as well as the important oral histories he has conducted with university staff and faculty members.
The Karen Bartholomew Award was established in 2005 to recognize significant and distinguished volunteer service to SHS over a number of years. The award’s first recipient and its namesake was Karen Bartholomew, class of 1971, who joined the society at its founding in 1976 and has served in numerous important leadership positions over the years.
For information about future Beyers Writing Prize and Schofield Award submission deadlines, please visit the Opportunities page on the Stanford Historical Society website.