Irving Katz


Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion (2002)
Roast in Honor of the Recipient
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Myles Brand


During his 38 years on the faculty of IU, Irving Katz was an immensely popular and much beloved teacher. Until his retirement in 2002, Dr. Katz taught an array of courses in U.S. history; economic, social, and labor history; the history of American political parties; and American Jewish history. The latter course, which Dr. Katz offered regularly over a 20-year period, had a large and dedicated following of students.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Katz showed his dedication to students in many other ways, including the support and mentorship he provided to countless students through years of active participation in IU's Residential Programs and Services Faculty Fellows program. He spoke to student groups on a regular basis, shared meals with them each week in campus dormitories, served on numerous student-related committees and advisory boards, and, for 12 years, was a Groups Program Faculty Friend. His involvement with teaching and curriculum development extended to high school students as well, and for a number of years he served as a faculty resource person for IU's Advanced College Project with 5 high schools in central and southern Indiana. He also spoke frequently to appreciative community audiences throughout the state, often on topics relating to the history of the modern Middle East.

In recognition of his exceptional contributions in all of these areas of scholarship and service, IU President Myles Brand awarded Dr. Katz the university's Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion in April 2002. Through his matchless energy, learning, wit, humor, and conviviality, Irving added a special spirit to campus culture and a broad range of community activities. The newly established Irving Katz Scholarship in JS acknowledges with gratitude all that Dr. Katz contributed over so many years and aims to perpetuate the dedication to learning that he exemplified so well. The Irving Katz Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate those qualities that Dr. Katz cared most about—a deep devotion to academic study, especially of history, and a lively passion for communicating the pleasures and insights that derive from a serious and sustained encounter with the past.