Celebrating “Nobelity”: Thirty Years Later
On the morning of October 16, 1986 Dr. James M. Buchanan received a phone call from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences informing him that he had been selected as the winner of the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
It had been nearly fifty years since he had begun his academic career as a student at a small college in Tennessee, and now, a faculty member at George Mason University, Buchanan had been selected for the most prestigious award given to a scholar.
Some years after being awarded the Nobel Prize, Dr. Buchanan shared his thoughts on the award in an essay entitled “Notes on Nobelity”. The essay became a chapter in his 1992 autobiography, Better than Plowing. A man who came from a humble background, Buchanan felt slightly uncomfortable with the status conferred upon him by this honor. He believed that he was not an elite academic, and he found it gratifying that he was put in a position to represent the “outsider” and “great unwashed scattered throughout the academic boondocks”.
This exhibition, Celebrating “Nobelity”: Thirty Years Later, features materials from various collections as part of the George Mason University Archives. Materials also come from the newly-acquired James M. Buchanan Papers. It traces the life and work of one of George Mason University’s most renowned scholars, Dr. James M. Buchanan. The exhibition can be viewed in the SCRC Exhibitions area and runs through December.
 James M. Buchanan, Better than Plowing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).