Foundation News

Supporters of the Foundation

By John Doe
April 21, 2014

Thanks to the continued generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation, some Fellows with no academic or institutional affiliation receive supplemental funding as part of their Guggenheim Fellowship to help cover the costs of their research or artistic endeavors, and their living expenses.

Mr. Levy, a pioneer in the creation of both mutual funds and hedge funds, was a humanist with a passion for expanding knowledge. He was an active and generous trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation from 1990 to 2003. For more information, please visit the Leon Levy Foundation.

In 2008 the Guggenheim Foundation added Constitutional Studies to its list of competition fields, thanks to a generous gift from the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation. The inaugural Fellows in this new field are Randy E. Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University Law Center, and Richard Primus, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.

Twice a Fellow in the field of Organismic Biology and Ecology (1953 and 1977), Carl Gans wholeheartedly supported the Foundation throughout his career, “watch[ing] its affairs with pleasure and a sense of personal participation.” Spurred by his belief that the Foundation “clearly maintained an ongoing commitment to excellence and to innovation,” as he wrote then-president Gordon Ray in 1985, he consistently contributed to the Foundation’s endowment and encouraged the most talented people he came across to apply for Guggenheim Fellowships.

Carl Gans was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1923 and came to the United States as a teenager, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1945. After serving in the Pacific theater during World War II, he trained as a mechanical engineer, receiving degrees in that field from New York University (B.ME., 1944) and Columbia University (M.S., 1950). However, he had a growing interest in herpetology and he credited his first Guggenheim Fellowship, received when he was just thirty years old, with giving him the essential encouragement and financial support to completely change the direction of his career. After his Fellowship term spent studying the
taxonomy of South Brazilian snakes, he went on to Harvard University where he earned a Ph.D. in biology in 1957. He then served as a Professor of Biology and department chair at the University of Buffalo (1958–71) and as Professor of Biology and chair of the department of zoology at the University of Michigan, retiring as Emeritus Professor in 1998. Among his most notable publications are A Photographic Atlas of Shark Anatomy and Electromyography for Experimentalists, both of which are now standard texts in biology classes nationwide. He also edited the journal Morphology for twenty-five years as well as the 23-volume Biology of Reptilia.

Carl Gans died in November 2009. His generous bequest to the Foundation will fund four Fellowships in Organismic Biology and Ecology.

Howard Kaminsky, who received a Fellowship in History in 1976, has been a long-standing and openhanded supporter of the Foundation’s mission.

After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1952, Mr. Kaminsky taught history at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the University of Washington, before his appointment as a Professor of History at Florida International University in 1973. He is currently Professor Emeritus at FIU.

A specialist in medieval and religious history, Mr. Kaminsky is the author of A History of the Hussite Revolution (University of California Press, 1967) and Simon de Cramaud and the Great Schism (Rutgers UP, 1983), among many other monographs and scholarly articles.

We guarantee our advisors and Committee of Selection members, as well as those who submit letters of reference, absolute confidentiality. Therefore, under no circumstances will the reasons for the rejection of an application be provided.