Gov. Norman H. Bangerter will present the first annual Governor's Award in the Humanities to former University of Utah professors Sterling M. McMurrin and Obert C. Tanner during a ceremony in Symphony Hall at noon on Nov. 16.
The award honors a Utahn who has made an outstanding contribution to the public understanding of the humanities.Tanner and McMurrin have been longtime friends. They shared an office in the Annex Building of the University of Utah as fellow professors of philosophy in the late 1940s.
"In selecting the recipient of the first Governor's Award in the Humanities, the committee considered it fitting to honor these scholars, friends and benefactors of the humanities, whose distinguished careers have complemented and reinforced one another."
In addition to their teaching careers, both men have contributed to education through service on boards, commissions and task forces at state and national levels.
McMurrin served as U.S. commissioner of education before the post was elevated to cabinet rank. He was chairman of the Federal Commission on Instructional Technology, trustee of the Carnegie Foundation, vice president of the American Philosophical Association and member of many other organizations concerned with philosophy and education.
Tanner, recipient of the 1988 National Medal of Arts, is known throughout Utah as a philanthropist. He funded the "Tanner Lectures on Human Values" at Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and the universities of California, Michigan and Utah. In 1985, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the federal commission organizing the celebration of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. He has endowed libraries, parks and theaters. He has funded the construction of water fountains on several college campuses.
The ceremony and reception are open to the public by reservation. For details, contact the office of the Utah Endowment for the Humanities, 531-7868.