Dr. Gregory L. Waters, Professor Emeritus of English at Montclair State University, has been elected chair of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
The Council is the Garden State’s leading organization committed to cultivating the public humanities and is the designated statewide partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A non-partisan organization, NJCH awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants annually to strengthen humanities programming throughout the state, including $1,405,811 in COVID response and project grant funding to 129 organizations across the state for Spring 2022, and offers a variety of humanities programs itself.
As chair, Waters will lead the board’s fiduciary, governance, fundraising, advocacy, and programmatic responsibilities.
“The New Jersey Council for the Humanities plays a crucial role in fostering dialogue on the vital issues facing us today by supporting programs, conferences and events throughout the state,” Waters said. “The Board helps shape policy and identify new directions for the Council and is composed of very talented and dedicated members. I look forward to our work together.”
NJCH’s Board comprises members from cultural, educational, private, public, and nonprofit sectors, who serve without compensation. The appointment marks Waters’ third stint in the role, to which he brings the wisdom of experience with the Michigan Humanities Council as well as his previous experience with NJCH.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Waters is returning to this key leadership position for our organization,” said NJCH Executive Director Carin Berkowitz. “He has devoted his life to advocating for and teaching the humanities, and his leadership will serve us well at time when the humanities are proving crucial to civic dialogue, connection, and empathy.”
Waters served Montclair State University for 33 years in both faculty and administrative roles, including deputy provost, vice president for university advancement, and interim president, before retiring in 2017. He previously was a faculty member and director of graduate and special programs at the University of Michigan-Flint. Throughout his life, he has championed the humanities, spearheading efforts to recognize the value of humanities skills in the workplace as well as serving as a consultant to the NEH. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University and Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.