The Historical Society of Pennsylvania honors Pulitzer-Prize winning author and historian David McCullough with its prestigious Founder’s Award. The annual dinner and awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history” and “a matchless writer.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. McCullough’s most recent book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, is a No. 1 New York Times best seller.
“Mr. McCullough has demonstrated the importance and power of narrative history ever since the release of his first book, The Johnstown Flood, in 1968,” said Kim Sajet, president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “We are proud to honor Mr. McCullough for his work as a lecturer, author, and historian and a champion of the historical record.”
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) will present McCullough with the Founder’s Award at its annual gala. The Historical Society will also honor long-serving HSP board member and past chairman Collin F. McNeil with the Heritage Award.
Collin F. McNeil has had a prolific and varied career as a writer and journalist, business executive, and motion picture producer. Currently working on a novel set during World War I, McNeil authored his first book, Bright Hunting Morn, published by the Derrydale Press in 2008. The book is an extensive history of the Radnor Hunt, America’s oldest continuously active foxhunting organization, on the occasion of its 125th anniversary.
Prior to embarking on his writing career, McNeil, for nine years, was the Chairman of the Board of Councilors of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. As a feature of his tenure, he presided over the transformation of the institution from one serving just researchers to a vibrant forward-thinking member of the historical and cultural community of the Philadelphia area.
The title of this year’s event is “Philadelphie à Paris: Une fête historique.” The theme is inspired by McCullough’s new book The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, which tells the story of America’s longstanding love affair with Paris. The book describes dozens of historical figures who traveled east to study and live in Paris, such as James Fenimore Cooper and his friend Samuel Morse—an accomplished portrait artist. Many Philadelphians such as Mary Cassatt, Emily Sartain, Dr. Thomas Evans, and Thomas Eakins also made the long journey across the Atlantic. The Founder’s Award Dinner celebrates the French influence in America and especially Philadelphia’s ties to Paris.
The funds raised at this annual event go directly toward supporting HSP’s mission of inspiring individuals and organizations to create a better future through historical understanding. The event begins at 6 pm with a cocktail reception followed by dinner and an award ceremony. For information about tickets, visit www.hsp.org.
Dorothy Mather Ix is this year’s event chair. Deborah Dilworth Bishop and Alice Lea Tasman are honorary co-chairs, and Mark Aronchick, Thomas Moran, and Nathan Raab are corporate chairs.