Vaclav Havel was one of the towering figures of the second half of the twentieth century. Short-listed numerous times for the Nobel Peace Prize, he became president of Czechoslovakia only months after being released from prison and leading his people against a totalitarian regime in what was dubbed, in the fall of 1989, the Velvet Revolution. He subsequently became president of the Czech Republic after the “Velvet Divorce” of the Czech and Slovak peoples.

An absurdist playwright of international renown, as well as a world-class political essayist, Havel was the “philosopher king” who inspired the Prague Summer Program’s existence in 1993. In 2007, through the auspices of the Prague Summer Program for Writers, Vaclav Havel and his good friend Arnost Lustig (a permanent member of the PSP faculty until his passing in 2011) received honorary doctorates in playwriting and fiction writing respectively.

The PSP will offer as many $1,000 Vaclav Havel Scholarships as it reasonably can, and, if fiscally prudent, two or three $1,500 scholarships. The scholarships will take the form of program-cost reductions. The PSP staff, in consultation, in some cases, with PSP permanent faculty, will determine the winners. The scholarships will be available to graduate, undergraduate, and “nontraditional” students alike.