WAW Award List

About the Medal

Although the William Allen White Foundation had been recognizing individuals for outstanding journalistic service since 1950, the first William Allen White medallions were not awarded until 1970. Before then, winners of the Award for Outstanding Journalistic Merit received certificates.

In 1969, however, the Foundation, under acting director Lee F. Young and Foundation president Dolph Simons, Jr., commissioned University of Kansas professor of design Elden C. Tefft to design a medallion worthy of representing the prestigious award. The result was a medallion design that carries a portrait of White on the front and this inscription on the back:

An American Journalist Who Exemplifies
William Allen White Ideals In Service 
To His Profession And His Community

The name of the individual medal winner is inscribed directly above this standing inscription.

Medallic Art Company of Danbury, Conn., was contracted to manufacture the medallions and to deliver them by Feb. 10, White's birthday, 1970.

The bronze medallion is two-and-one-half inches, and is mounted in a black morocco/blue-lined easel case. A medallion has been presented to all surviving Journalistic Merit winners, including those cited before the creation of the medallion.

— Taken from The William Allen White Foundation, May 1980

Name Picture Brief Summary
2000
Bob Woodward
Along with reporter Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward was half of one of the most famous reporting teams in history. The team from The Washington Post, occasionally called "Woodstein," uncovered an elaborate plot to re-elect President Richard Nixon in 1972. Woodward and Bernstein received a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1973.
2001
Molly Ivins
All roads seem to lead to Texas for Molly Ivins. The nationally-syndicated political columnist has worked all over the country, but time and again has returned to the Lone Star state.
2002
Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts is the chief congressional analyst for ABC News, covering politics, Congress and public policy. Roberts also serves as a news analyst for National Public Radio, where she was the congressional corespondent for more than ten years. In addition, Roberts was the former co-anchor of This Week With Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts.
2003
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr.
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. is the New York Times publisher.
2004
Marlin Fitzwater
Marlin Fitzwater spent a decade in the front row of history, as press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Today he is an author and lecturer whose presidential anecdotes, political analysis, and television commentary have received worldwide attention.
2005
Gerald F. Seib
Gerald F. Seib is a 1978 graduate of the KU School of Journalism and the Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief. He also writes the paper’s “Capital Journal” column on a periodic basis and is a regular commentator on Washington affairs for CNBC, cable television.
2006
Gordon Parks
When Gordon Parks was growing up in Fort Scott, Kan., his mother told him to never give up. That advice sustained him through his mother’s death, leaving home, being homeless, and to an amazing life and career. Perhaps the most important event of Parks’ life was his birth. He has told it before: He was born dead. A young white doctor plunged the bloody baby into icy water to revive him. In gratitude, the baby’s mother named her son Gordon after the physician. And so begins a history of fighting for the life he wanted.
2007
Richard C. Clarkson
Richard C. Clarkson is a 1956 School of Journalism graduate and nationally known photojournalist.
2008
Seymour Hersh
Hersh’s journalism and publishing awards include the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for exposing the My Lai massacre and cover up during the Vietnam War, in 1969. He has also received five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.
2009
Tom Curley
Tom Curley is president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press. He is the 12th person to head The AP since its founding in 1846.

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