For immediate release August 3, 2018

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Presents the Sidney Hook Memorial Award to
Nancy Weiss Malkiel

The Phi Beta Kappa Society honors Princeton Dean Emerita with award for scholarship, leadership, teaching.

WASHINGTON, DC, August 3, 2018 — The Phi Beta Kappa Society has named Dr. Nancy Weiss Malkiel, Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University, as the recipient of its Sidney Hook Memorial Award. Phi Beta Kappa presented the award to Malkiel on August 3 at the 45th Triennial Council of the Society, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The award, established in 1991 in memory of the distinguished American philosopher and Phi Beta Kappa member Sidney Hook (1902–1989), recognizes national distinction by an individual in each of three endeavors — scholarship, undergraduate teaching, and leadership in the cause of liberal arts education. A grant from the John Dewey Foundation supports the award’s cash prize. Phi Beta Kappa presents the award once every three years.

“I am humbled, honored, and deeply grateful to have been selected for this wonderful award,” Malkiel said in the Key Reporter. “To be a part of a distinguished company that includes some of my personal heroes—Natalie Zemon Davis and John Hope Franklin chief among them—is a recognition I could never have imagined.”

Malkiel received a B.A. from Smith College in 1965 and went on to earn an M.A. (1966) and Ph.D. (1970) from Harvard University. A scholar in 20th-century American history, she joined the Princeton University Department of History in 1969, serving as the founding master of Dean Mathey College, one of Princeton’s six residential colleges, from 1982 to 1986 and as Dean of the College from 1987 to 2011.

Malkiel’s most recent book is “Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation (2016), a history of coeducation at elite colleges and universities during the period from 1969 to 1974. Her earlier work includes Whitney M. Young, Jr., and the Struggle for Civil Rights (1989), Farewell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDR (1983), and The National Urban League, 1910-1940 (1974).

In addition, she was a member of the board of her alma mater, Smith College, from 1984 to 1994, as well as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation from 1999 to 2009. She was given an honorary degree (Doctor of Letters) from Smith College in 1997. In 2015, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation established the Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars Award, a $17,500 stipend awarded to support junior faculty members whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society, and who are committed to creating an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars.

Read her exclusive interview in the Key Reporter.


About The Phi Beta Kappa Society

The Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded on Dec. 5, 1776, is the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities in the United States, nearly 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 40 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 140 Nobel Laureates. The mission of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. 

For more information about The Phi Beta Kappa Society, visit