- The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Fellowship is unveiled at the 42nd Annual HUMANITAS Awards. Its first recipient is Munis Rashid, a graduate student at the American Film Institute.
- Cheo Hodari Coker is Keynote Speaker.
- John Ridley receives the Kieser Award.
- Ali LeRoi’s photo portraits of the finalists line the walls of the Directors Guild of America at the 41st Annual HUMANITAS Awards.
- 550 guests attend the prestigious evening event, a change from the traditional luncheon.
- PLAY LA Workshop and festival is created in collaboration with Centre Theatre Group.
- Ali LeRoi becomes President of the Board.
- Carole Kirschner joins as Program Director of NEW VOICES.
- Tom Fontana becomes President of the Board.
- Fr. Frank Desiderio becomes Chairman of the Board.
- Co-founder John Furia, Jr. and HUMANITAS Board member dies on May 7, 2009.
- The Documentary category is added to The HUMANITAS Prize.
- HUMANITAS winner John Wells becomes President of the Board. With an astounding 267 Emmy nominations and 55 Emmy wins as a writer/producer for hit series like ER, The West Wing, Third Watch and China Beach, John Wells also helps launch the organization’s new vision to not only “honor the writers of today, but to also empower writers to tell the stories of tomorrow.”
- HUMANITAS winner and long-time Advisory Council member Cathleen Young joins the HUMANITAS family as Executive Director.
- Former Executive Director Chris Donahue joins The Shepard/Robin Company as Executive Vice President.
- The College Drama Fellowship is added.
- For the first time in ten years, a Special Award is awarded to the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, which was directed by Davis Guggenheim and chronicles former Vice President Al Gore’s decades long commitment to the issue of global warming.
- The first David & Lynn Angell College Comedy Fellowship is given to UCLA graduate student Kathy Fischer.
- Members of the entertainment industry created the fellowship to honor David and Lynn Angell. David was a writer on the staff of Cheers and co-creator of Wings and Frasier. The Angells were aboard Flight #11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
- Bill Moyers receives the first Kieser Award.
- The award is created in memory of Father Ellwood “Bud” Kieser and is given to an individual whose work has helped to promote a greater appreciation for the dignity of each member of the human family and challenged others to examine the role they play in our search for meaning, freedom and love.
- HUMANITAS Founder Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser dies on September 16, 2000.
- Fr. Frank Desiderio, C.S.P. is elected President and Chris Donahue is hired as the first full-time Executive Director.
- The Sundance Feature Film category is added to The HUMANITAS Prize.
- Gina Prince-Bythwood’s Love and Basketball is the first winner of the new Sundance Feature Film category.
- The Feature Film category is added to The HUMANITAS Prize.
- Schindler’s List by Steven Zaillian is the first winner of the new Feature Film category. Zaillian is also a finalist for Searching for Bobby Fischer.
- A record 480 scripts were submitted for The HUMANITAS Prize.
- The PBS/Cable category is added to The HUMANITAS Prize.
- PBS’ Three Hotels by Jon Robin Baitz is the first winner of the new PBS/Cable category.
- There are HUMANITAS retrospectives at the Museum of Broadcasting in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
- HUMANITAS educational programs expand to include monthly Master Writers Workshops taught by HUMANITAS winners such as David E. Kelley, Eric Roth, Steven Zaillian, John Wells, Antwone Fisher and Steven Bochco.
- The Children’s Animation and Children’s Live Action categories are created for The HUMANITAS Prize.
- The first Children’s Animation award goes to CBS’ Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies: “Eight Take Away One Equals Panic” by Jeffrey Scott.
- The first Children’s Live Action award goes to CBS’ Schoolbreak Special: “The Day the Senior Class Got Married” by Charles Purpura.
- Dan Burke (Capital Cities Broadcasting), Tom Murphy (Capital Cities Broadcasting), John Kluge (Metromedia) and Dan Ritchie (Group W) lead a group of the top 25 broadcasters in a $1 million dollar commitment to the HUMANITAS vision.
- A luncheon is held at Tail O’ the Cock on La Cienega Boulevard to honor the winning writers on the Today show.
- Ray Bradbury, Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser and reporter Bob Abernathy announce The HUMANITAS Prize winners live on the Today show.
- Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser brings together a broad-based coalition in the entertainment industry to create The HUMANITAS Prize. Lilly Foundation provides initial funding.