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American History Professor Tracy Campbell to be Honored at UK Libraries Spring Celebration

By Emma Reilly

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2022) — University of Kentucky Libraries will host a Spring Celebration to honor Tracy Campbell, the 2022 recipient of the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement. The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the William T. Young Library on UK’s campus. A reception will follow with cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested; individuals can RSVP at

Campbell is the E. Vernon Smith and Eloise C. Smith Professor of American History at UK. He is the author of five books, including “The Year of Peril: America in 1942,” which won the 2021 Barbara and David Zalaznick American History Book Prize from the New-York Historical Society. He was also appointed American Historian Laureate by the society. Among his other books, “The Gateway Arch: A Biography” won the 2014 Missouri History Book Award. 

A native Kentuckian, Campbell earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from Duke University. He has been teaching at UK since 1999 and was the recipient of the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award in 2010. In 2019, he received a Stanton Foundation Grant to create the course "The History of Misinformation." He has been featured on NPR’s "Morning Edition" and "Weekend Edition" with Scott Simon and “The World in Time” podcast with Lewis Lapham, and he will be the guest on an upcoming “History with David Rubenstein” show on PBS.

The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement was created in 1990 to recognize intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a lasting contribution to the Commonwealth. The award also promotes education and creative thought. Recipients of the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement are determined by the UK Libraries National Advisory Board

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.