Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate and Princeton’s Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emeritus, was named by President Barack Obama as a 2012 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
The 13 recipients are individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House. The awards, which were inaugurated in 1945, were presented at a White House ceremony.
Morrison joined Princeton in 1989 as a member of the creative writing program. She retired in 2006 and continues to write. She is the author of 10 novels, including Beloved, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988, as well as The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Jazz and Home.