The Henry G. Dittmar Award
The Henry G. Dittmar Award is presented annually to an outstanding
history major. Carrie Larkins is its first recipient in 2001. Subsequent
awardees are: Kathleen McGuire and Linnzi Kennedy in 2002; Beth Hicks in
2003; Salome Abraham and Kerrigan Dougherty in 2004; Elisabeth Atkinson and Darci Mulvihill in 2005; Neeka Cannon and Caroline Sasorski in 2006; Jessica Goldby in 2007.
G. Dittmar, born in Cologne, Germany in 1913, took dual Ph.Ds in European
History and Art History. He studied under the great Arnold Toynbee and
counted historian George P. Gooch as one of his close historical mentors.
His close friendship with English diplomat and historian Harold Nicholson
provided Dr. Dittmar a connection to a literary and historical world
which would enliven his later university teaching career. From 1948
to 1978, Professor Dittmar taught history classes in European History,
England, Africa and the Middle East. He helped to pioneer the Humanities
course for freshman and sophomore students. His long tenure as a resident
in Salzburg directing the Salzburg program helped to forge an important
international study program from which the University of California
in large part patterned for its own overseas residential program. Long
after his retirement, the University called upon him to offer special
courses in the history of the Middle East. His connections there and
with a member of the Saudi Royal Household, an alumnus, propelled Dr.
Dittmar's classes into seminars of diverse students promoting dialogue
and understanding. He often lamented the lack of historical context
employed by many analysts of world affairs. In a paper delivered when
he was 82 to the Washington D.C. alumni club, later published in the
Congressional Record, Dr. Dittmar presented an analysis of the Balkan
situation. In that paper he cited the "inconvenience of history"
as one of the chief obstacles in resolving the conflict.
A meticulous researcher,
an engaging lecturer, an historian whose personal library of more than
5,000 volumes was willed to the University, and a mentor to many history
majors and non-majors alike, Dr. Dittmar ranks as one of the University's
most distinguished professors in the twentieth century.