November 2, 2005
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—On Wednesday, Oct. 12, Amherst College's Emily C. Jordan Folger Professor of English and American Studies Allen Guttmann received an honorary doctorate from the Universiteit Leuven, known to French speakers as l'Université de Louvain. This Flemish university, founded in 1425, is one of the oldest in Europe.
Guttmann's honorary degree was awarded in recognition of his “distinguished contributions to the study of sports history.” The ceremony, held in the Renaissance “Promotiezaal,” included an academic procession, a laudatio, an address by Professor Guttmann and music by a Flemish group known as the New Orleans Jazz Quartet. The ceremony concluded with a banquet in the university's medieval “Beguinzaal.”
A member of the Amherst faculty since 1959, Guttmann is the author of Sports: The First Five Millennia (2005), which received the annual Book Award of the North American Society for Sport History. His other books include From Ritual to Record: the Nature of Modern Sports (1978), Women's Sports: A History (1991), Games and Empires (1994) and The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games (2002). He received the first President's Award for Sports Studies from the International Olympic Committee in 2000.