CSU Fresno -- August 20, 2003

Classics Professor Victor Davis Hanson Wins Prestigious Award of Excellence

Classics professor Victor Davis Hanson, whose books and articles have earned the praise of national government and military leaders, has been awarded "The President's Award of Excellence" for 2003 at California State University, Fresno.

Fresno business leader Richard Spencer, chairman of the University Advisory Board, announced the award at the 2003 Academic Assembly, which marks the start of the fall semester. The recognition includes a $10,000 award. The selection is made by the University Advisory Board, which is composed of community leaders and is chaired by Spencer.

The President's Award of Excellence seeks to recognize a faculty or staff member who demonstrates integrity, leadership, and a commitment to the university and community as exemplified by Fresno State President John D. Welty. The 2002 winner was Dr. Stephen A. Rodemeyer, chemistry professor and director of the Smittcamp Family Honors College.

Cara Hanson accepted the award for her husband, who is in Washington, D.C., for meetings at the Pentagon, the Center for Immigration, the Nixon Center and the National Press Club. He also will be interviewed by Brian Lamb of C-SPAN's "Booknotes," Brit Hume of Fox News and MSNBC's "Scarborough Country."

Hanson, who also is coordinator of the Classical Studies program at Fresno State, is a prolific author, scholar and military historian. In addition to teaching, he writes a column bi-weekly about contemporary culture and military history for National Review Online.

Dr. Luis Costa, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said Hanson is "one of the best-known classicists in the country - if not the best known" and is popular with students. "He is a tremendous teacher," said Costa. "Students are in awe of him and often follow behind from the classroom to his office when class is over."

Hanson joined the Fresno State faculty in 1984 to initiate the Classical Studies Program, and with associate Dr. Bruce Thornton has developed it into a nationally recognized program whose graduates regularly earn full scholarships to doctorate programs at Ivy League and other top universities.

Hanson's insightful, conservative commentary was thrust into the upper echelon of politics post-9/11. He was invited to lecture President Bush's staff on the history of terrorism and methods used to combat it. At the invitation of Vice President Dick Cheney he discussed military history and efforts to deal with military challenges with the vice president, news commentator and Pulitzer Prize winner George Will, commentator Brit Hume and Republican strategist Mary Matlin.

In December 2002, Hanson was asked by the captain of the USS Kennedy to visit the Navy aircraft carrier at sea, where he remained a guest for two days. He also attended President Bush's and Vice President Cheney's individual 2002 Christmas parties.

In the 2002-03 academic term, Hanson was a visiting professor of military history at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he drew on Greek and Roman wars to teach future military leaders.

He has written articles, editorials and reviews for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, American Heritage, City journal, American Spectator, Policy Review, The Wilson Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, and Washington Times. He has been interviewed on numerous occasions on National Public Radio, and appeared with David Gergen on the "Jim Lehr Newshour" on PBS.

Hanson's most recent books are "Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power," "An Autumn of War," and "Mexifornia: A State of Becoming" and "Ripples of Battle," to be published in September.

Hanson earned his bachelor's degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz, studied in Greece and received his doctorate in classics from Stanford University.


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