In 1999, friends and colleagues established the Townsend Ludington Distinguished Professorship in American Studies to honor Towny Ludington, who taught English and American studies at UNC from 1966 to 2004. Joe Dorn ’70 joined fellow alumni Sunny ’84 and Lee ’82 Burrows and Molly Monk Mears ’84 in giving lead gifts to the fund.

The $500,000 fund was established to attract or retain a distinguished teacher and scholar to the College of Arts and Sciences in the area of American studies.

Ludington, who first came to Carolina to teach in 1966, earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1957 and received a master’s degree in 1964 and a doctorate in 1967 from Duke University. He helped found the American studies program at Carolina and served as its director from 1968 to 1971 and again from 1986 to 2001. He was also instrumental in the creation of both the African-American studies and the Native American studies programs.

He is the author or editor of 11 books about American literature, art and culture. Among them are major biographies of the writer John Dos Passos — which won a North Carolina Mayflower Award — and the artist Marsden Hartley.

Ludington, who retired from teaching in 2004, was appointed in 2009 as chairman of the board of the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit group and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that supports the culture and heritage of the state through grants and public programs.

The Townsend Ludington Distinguished Professor in American Studies:

Robert Cantwell – Emeritus Faculty