Professors Charles S. Peterson of Utah State University and J.D. Williams of the University of Utah are recipients of the first research fellowships awarded by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities.

The awards were presented at the endowment's annual Merit Award Luncheon at the Devereaux House.Williams, distinguished professor of political science and longtime director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, received the first Albert J. Colton Research Fellowship. The award bears the name of the late Albert J. Colton, prominent local attorney and clergyman and former member of the Utah Endowment for the Humanities Committee.

Peterson, former director of the Utah State Historical Society and editor of the "Western Historical Quarterly," will research the development and contributions of Dale Morgan and Hubert Howe Bancroft, two major historians in the region.

Also announced at the luncheon was the endowment's third merit award of $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for "programs of unusually high quality and excellence in all aspects of the endowment's operations."

Project directors to receive 1988 merit awards are:

- Glade Hunsaker, Brigham Young University, for the "Willa Cather Symposium," a three-day event exploring aspects of family and community history in the fiction and life of Willa Cather.

- Ed Jenson, Utah Council for Humanities Education, for "A Symposium on the Medieval Period."

- Sue McCoy, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, for "Aston Magna Academy," a two-day program on the culture of 18th-century France.

- Helen Cox, the Book Group, for "War and Peace in Contemporary America."

- Elise Lazar, Women Concerned About Nuclear War, for "Utah-Soviet Awareness Week."

- Roger K. Hanson, Marriott Library, for "Newton's Principia: Understanding the Gravity of the Situation."

- Edward G. Lueders, University of Utah, for "Writing Natural History: Dialogues with Authors."

- Douglas Schrems, KUED, for "Issues of Life and Death."

- Cary Stevens-Jones, Utah Arts Council, for "A Woman's View: The Photography of Elfie Huntington."

- Ann Floor, endowment consultant, for "The Traveling Scholar and Writer Forum."