ORANGE, CA—The National Association of Scholars (NAS) awarded Heather Mac Donald the Peter Shaw Award for Writing about Higher Education. Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture (2018).
Peter W. Wood bestowed the award on January 12, 2019, during NAS's conference at Chapman University. As attendees looked on, Peter noted:
“Heather Mac Donald, brilliant essayist, incisive social critic, fearless public intellectual, you have devoted your career to discomforting the mandarins of American culture. As a stylist you resemble those ancient inhabitants of North America who chipped flint into razor-sharp, elegantly-shaped, but deadly projectiles known as Clovis Points. Your sentences, like Clovis Points, look delicate, but are designed to slice through the hairy hides of big animals. Your woolly mammoths, however, are university administrators, feminist authoritarians, race revengers, and obstructors of effective law enforcement. In your new book, The Diversity Delusion, you take down the race and gender hustlers of higher education. In The War on Cops, you cut through the sinews of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the Thomas W. Smith Fellow of the Manhattan Institute, you have patiently tracked your quarry, named first in your 2001 book, The Burden of Bad Ideas. Bad public policy flows from bad ideas relentlessly programmed into laws and regulations. Such ideas aren’t limited to the college campus, but the college is their natal home and habitat, and no one more effectively than you has flushed them into the open. You ask the right questions, and capture the compelling answers. Heather Mac Donald, for your service to higher education through excellent observation, deft exposition, perceptive analysis, and luminous synthesis, the National Association of Scholars is pleased to award you the Peter Shaw Award for Writing about Higher Education.”
The National Association of Scholars is proud to bestow this award on such an accomplished writer. Heather Mac Donald is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald's work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and The New Criterion. Mac Donald's newest book, The Diversity Delusion argues that toxic ideas first spread by higher education have undermined humanistic values, fueled intolerance, and widened divisions in our culture.
The Peter Shaw Award was established to honor the memory of Professor Shaw who, at the time of his death, was the editor of Academic Questions and chairman of the NAS Board of Directors. It is given to recognize exemplary writing on issues pertaining to higher education and American intellectual culture. Previous recipients of the Peter Shaw Memorial Award were Herbert I. London (1996), Mary Lefkowitz (1997), John Ellis (1999), Robert Conquest (2001), Paul Hollander (2002), Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom (2004), Donald A. Downs (2006), Victor Davis Hanson (2009), Russell Nieli (2013), and Amy Wax (2018).
A video of Peter’s speech and Heather’s reception will be made available shortly along with all sessions from NAS’s conference, “Disgrace: Shame, Punishment, and Redemption in American Higher Education.