Toni Morrison.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard News Office

Campus & Community

Toni Morrison named Radcliffe Medalist

3 min read

Renowned author to receive award, give keynote at annual Radcliffe Day luncheon

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study announced that author and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison will be awarded the 2007 Radcliffe Institute Medal at the annual Radcliffe Day luncheon on Friday (June 8) at 12:45 p.m. Drew G. Faust, president-elect of Harvard University and dean of the Radcliffe Institute, will provide opening remarks and present the medal. Morrison will give the keynote address.

The Radcliffe Institute awards its medal annually, during the Harvard-Radcliffe Commencement Week, to an individual whose life and work has had a significant impact on society. The 2006 recipient was Linda Greenhouse, longtime Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times. Other past honorees include Madeleine Korbel Albright, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Dole, Billie Jean King, and Janet Reno. For her extraordinary accomplishments and impact on people in America and around the world — as an author, educator, and scholar — Toni Morrison was selected to be the 2007 Radcliffe Institute medalist.

Morrison’s eight major novels — “The Bluest Eye” (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970), “Sula” (Knopf, 1973), “Song of Solomon” (Knopf, 1977), “Tar Baby” (Knopf, 1981), “Beloved” (Knopf, 1987), “Jazz” (Knopf, 1992), “Paradise” (Knopf, 1998), and “Love” (Knopf, 2003) — have earned extensive critical acclaim. She received the National Book Critics Award in 1978 for “Song of Solomon” and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for “Beloved.” Both novels were chosen as the main selections for the Book of the Month Club in 1977 and 1987, respectively. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. In 2006, “Beloved” was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best work of American fiction published in the last quarter-century.

Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor Emeritus in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University. She was appointed the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the spring of 1989 and held the post until 2006. Prior to her appointment at Princeton, Morrison was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. Among her other prestigious awards are the 2000 National Humanities Medal, the 2000 Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend Award, the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and the Rhegium Julii Prize for Literature in 1994. She has degrees from Howard and Cornell universities and honorary degrees from numerous other institutions, including Harvard.

Morrison is a trustee of the New York Public Library and a member of the Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the North American Network of Cities of Asylum, and the Authors Guild, where she served on the Guild Council and as foundation treasurer. She served on the National Council of the Arts for six years and is a member of the Africa Watch and Helsinki Watch Committees on Human Rights.

The Radcliffe Day luncheon is open to Radcliffe and Harvard alumnae/i and their guests.