Virginia Foundation of the Humanities founder Robert C. Vaughan III receives Robin Goodfellow Award
In 1989, American Shakespeare Center co-founders Ralph Alan Cohen and Jim Warren found their way into Robert Vaughan’s office with a freshly minted 501 (c)(3) non-profit status in hand.
They left with a $12,000 grant and a blueprint for a two-week seminar, Bringing Shakespeare Home, for high school teachers on using performance to teach Shakespeare. “In acknowledging the worth of our work, it showed that someone else believed in us and it made us confident in a future that led to the ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse,” says Cohen.
In recognition of Vaughan’s contributions to the ASC and the Commonwealth of Virginia, the American Shakespeare Center presented him the prestigious Goodfellow Award at the Annual Gala on September 23. The Goodfellow Award, named after the character Robin Goodfellow (Puck) in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is given annually to a person whose contributions to the American Shakespeare Center have been fundamental to the mission of making the joys of Shakespeare accessible to all.
Rob Vaughan is founding president and CEO of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, founding director of the South Atlantic Humanities Center, and a member of the faculty of the University of Virginia where he has taught for 35 years in the College of Arts and Sciences (English) and in the Darden School (MBA and Executive Education Programs). Rob is a former chairman of the national Federation of State Humanities Councils and a past president of Piedmont Council for the Arts. He has served as a member of the boards of the Library of Virginia, APVA-Preservation Virginia and its Executive Committee, the Charlottesville Oratorio Society, the University of Utah Humanities Center, the National Coordinating Committee for the Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s Birth, and the Program Committee for Jamestown 1607 – 2007. Most recently, Rob received the Founding Cville award from Tom Tom Founders Festival (2014), the President’s Award from Preservation Virginia (2015), and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Washington and Lee University (2016).
“Historians will say that Rob made Virginia a better place than he found it,” said Cohen while presenting the award. “Not because he gave out money, but because of how he found ways to give that money to the widest array of people whose projects would make the world more humane.”