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On February 25, SAR President Michael F. Brown, Ph.D., presented SAR’s first ever Centennial Medal to author N. Scott Momaday for distinguished service to SAR and the world. The award was presented during the SAR board reception at the La Fonda Hotel.

Momaday was a Katrin Lamon Fellow in 1989–90, served on SAR’s board of directors between 1997–2005, and held the position of senior scholar from 2006–2010.

“Presenting an award to N. Scott Momaday for prowess as a novelist, poet, and painter is like taking coal to Newcastle,” remarked Brown. “In addition to his twenty-two honorary degrees, Scott has won, among other awards and prizes, the Pulitzer, the National Medal of the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal.”

N. Scott Momaday during his 1989-90 fellowship at SAR

“I am delighted to receive the first Centennial Medal from SAR,” said Momaday. “I have been a longtime associate of the school and I appreciate the work that is done there. I’m especially pleased that the school has fostered the art and heritage of Native Americans. As a former senior scholar and a member of the board of directors I’ve had the opportunity to see how the school has grown to become an institution of global importance. It has been and will continue to be one of the great resources of scholarship in America.”

Scott Momaday, Ph.D., a member of the Kiowa tribe, is a writer, graphic artist and a retired professor of English and American literature. Momaday holds visiting professor appointments at Columbia University, Princeton University, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Regensburg University, State University of Moscow.

His published books include House Made of Dawn, The Way to Rainy Mountain, The Ancient Child, The Gourd Dancer, Angle of Geese and Other Poems, The Names, In the Presence of the Sun, The Man Made of Words, In the Bear’s House, Circle of Wonder, Les Enfants du Soleil, Four Arrows and Magpie, Three Plays (The Indolent Boys, Children of the Sun, The Moon in Two Windows), Again the Far Morning, The Journey of Tai-me, The Death of Sitting Bear, Earth Keeper, and Dream Drawings.

Momaday’s awards include a Pulitzer Prize, National Medal of Arts, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Premio Letterario Internazionale Mondello, Oklahoma Centennial Poet Laureate, Autry Center for the American West Humanities Award, UNESCO Artist for Peace, Saint Louis Literary Award, Stanford University Alumni Hall of Fame, Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Book Award, Native American Hall of Fame, Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The Poetry Society of America Robert Frost Medal, and twenty-two honorary doctoral degrees from American and European colleges and universities. Momaday was also the subject of Words from a Bear, a film in the American Masters series on PBS.

Group portrait of resident scholars during their 1989-90 fellowships at the School of American Research. Left to right, front row: N. Scott Momaday, Anna Roosevelt, Doug Schwartz (SAR president), and Linda Nicholas. Back row: Art Gallaher Jr., Steven Feld, Gary Feinman.