For Immediate Release
Contact: Merrill Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105
May 20, 2014 – Yesterday Stanford University received the first ever University Award for Philosophical Diversity, given by the American Humanist Association. Accepting the award on behalf of the university was Scott McLennan, dean for religious life at Stanford.
“The philosophy of humanism and interest in secular viewpoints are thriving in universities today,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We’re pleased to recognize Stanford University for making humanist inquiry and study possible for students interested in pursuing careers in the secular movement and beyond.”
The Humanist Connection is the affiliated organization at Stanford University, headed by Humanist Chaplain John Figdor.
The University Award for Philosophical Diversity is given to colleges and universities that meet standards of openness to humanism and humanist inquiry. By doing so, the American Humanist Association hopes to counter common prejudices against humanists and other nontheists and helps to recognize universities that inclusively embrace all who wish to express their freedom of and freedom from religion.
Criteria for receiving the University Award for Philosophical Diversity include, among others, offering a course in humanist studies, employing a faculty member engaged in research relevant to humanist studies with already-published works in scholarly journals, and having a secular student organization recognized by the institution and existing in a supportive environment.
In addition to the University Award, the American Humanist Association bestows the Humanist of the Year Award, given annually to a prominent individual whose work and activism promote humanist values. The 2014 Humanist of the Year is former U.S. Representative Barney Frank, who is scheduled to receive the award at the American Humanist Association’s 73rd Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 6.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.