Hillary Clinton Receives National Constitution Center Liberty Medal

— article and photos by Bonnie Squires

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia held another one of its world-class events last week, as Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the Liberty Medal before an audience of 1,300 people.

The medal honors men and women of courage and conviction, who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. Secretary Clinton was recognized for her advocacy of women’s rights and human rights around the globe.

More after the jump.

(Left to right) Bill Sasso, Esq., Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Jeffrey Rosen, CEO of the National Constitution Center, each praised Hillary for her life-long activities for the common good.

ABC News Anchor and Correspondent Elizabeth Vargas served as the mistress of ceremonies, and presenters included:

  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, chairman of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees;
  • Dr. Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania and National Constitution Center Trustee;
  • Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter;
  • No Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon;
  • Journalist and Human Rights Advocate Roxana Saberi; and
  • National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen, who presented the medal to Secretary Clinton.

Appearing in video tributes during the ceremony were:

  • Former British Prime Minister and previous Liberty Medal recipient Tony Blair;
  • Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan;
  • tennis legend Billie Jean King;
  • actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen;
  • News Political Commentator Cokie Roberts, and
  • other friends, sponsors and dignitaries.

Governor Bush and Secretary Clinton were both gracious in their remarks about each other, even though it is possible that in 2016 each of them will represent their respective political parties in the presidential election.

Dr. Amy Gutmann, Penn president, who chaired the Liberty Medal selection committee, gave a rousing speech about Hillary Cllinton’s accomplishments in gaining equality for women and minorities around the world. Gutmann also got excited when she predicted that Clinton would become the first woman president of the U.S.

(Left to right) Marciarose Shestack, Bob Rovner, Esq., Commissioner Josh Shapiro and his wife Lori Shapiro, and Bill Sasso, Esq., host of the reception.

(Left to right) Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, Tom Knox and Anne Ewers, CEO of the Kimmel Center, joined hundreds of guests at the President’s Reception.

(Left to right) Sandy and Steve Sheller, Esq., were delighted to talk with former Governr Ed Rendell.

(Left to right Patrons Barbara and Len Sylk are joined by Diane Semingson.

Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler speaks to her friend Dr. Afaf Meleis, dean of the Penn School of of Nursing.

PPRA Gold Medal Award to Dr. Amy Gutmann, Penn President

Dr. Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania, To Receive Philadelphia Public Relations Association’s 2010 Gold Medal Award

University President Honored for Increasing Access to Higher Education and for Championing Civic Engagement with Communities both Domestically and Globally

— Bonnie Squires

The Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) will honor Dr. Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania, with the organization’s 2010 Gold Medal Award on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 11:30am – 1:30pm at the Loews Philadelphia, Washington Room, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107.

More after the jump.
Helping PPRA honor Gutmann is event speaker David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Pennsylvania.  Invited guests include Governor Edward G. Rendell and Mayor Michael A. Nutter. The event’s theme is “Making History … Ben Franklin Would Approve.”

The PPRA Gold Medal Award honors individuals and organizations whose accomplishments leave a lasting impact on our community and bring national recognition to Philadelphia. As a Gold Medal recipient, Gutmann joins Ambassador Walter Annenberg, Governor Edward G. Rendell, former President of Drexel University Constantine Papadakis, 6abc’s Jim Gardner, author Lisa Scottoline, and nearly 60 other prominent individuals and organizations in the Philadelphia area.

“We are honoring President Gutmann because she is the standard to which all leaders in Philadelphia should be held,” said Beth Archer, president of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association. “Whether she’s expanding Penn’s environmental commitment, or improving access to higher education for Philadelphians, she brings positivity to our region.”

As President of the University of Pennsylvania since 2004, Gutmann substituted grants for student loans for all eligible undergraduates and has increased undergraduate financial aid by 78 percent. She has recruited eminent, multidisciplinary teacher-scholars to Penn’s 12 schools; expanded Penn’s campus while increasing green space by 20 percent; and championed civic engagement domestically and globally.

A distinguished political philosopher, Dr. Gutmann has authored and edited 15 books and more than 100 articles and essays on ethics and public policy, deliberative democracy, and education.  

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Previously, Dr. Gutmann served as Princeton University’s Provost, Dean of the Faculty, and founding Director of the University Center for Human Values.  

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Penn,” said Gutmann. “Local engagement is one of the cornerstones of our Penn Compact. Day in and day out at Penn, we act on the knowledge that the health and vitality of Penn is inextricably linked to that of Philadelphia. We work together with our Philadelphia neighbors and leaders to make both Penn and Philadelphia the best that we can be. I commend PPRA for consistently advancing leadership in our region.”

The PPRA Gold Medal event is co-chaired by Bonnie Squires, president of Squires Consulting and a Penn Alumna, and David Brown, Executive Vice President and General Manager of WURD-AM.

The event committee also includes noted PR practitioners Sylvia Kauders, Sally Berlin, Lisette Bralow, Mark Tarasiewicz, Joan Gubernick, Michael Cavacini, Kera Walter, Meredith Avakian, and Megan Smith.

Registration for the Gold Medal event is $65 for PPRA members; $75 for nonmembers; and $650 for a table of ten, and can be purchased by visiting www.ppra.net or calling 215-557-9865.