The Lifelong Learning Award honorees all share exemplary records of excellence and a passion for lifelong learning for themselves and for all those they can inspire. They truly personify WHYY’s mission to advance public life through storytelling, education and civic dialogue.
2021: Anthony S. Fauci
Dr. Fauci was honored for his career and contributions to public health, scientific advancement and education. Dr. Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, overseeing research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases. Most notably, he demonstrated steadfast leadership for the American public during the Coronavirus crisis.
2019: William R. Hite Jr.
Dr. Hite was recognized for his achievements as Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, where he worked to improve student outcomes and implement programs like the highly successful WHYY Media Labs programs. His focus on equity and innovation in Philadelphia public schools has strengthened our city.
2018: Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Dr. Gates was honored for his work as an acclaimed historian, teacher, writer and filmmaker. He is known for his award-winning documentaries like Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, Africa’s Great Civilizations and popular PBS series Finding Your Roots. His six-part PBS documentary series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross earned a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award.
2017: Joseph R. Biden Jr.
President Biden (at the time, former Vice President Biden) was honored for his role as a world leader and his commitment to the Pennsylvania and Delaware region. As a lifelong elected official, he has established himself as a leader in facing some of our nation’s most important domestic and international challenges. He represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 to 2009 and served as the 47th Vice President from 2009 to 2017.
2016: Joseph Neubauer
Joe Neubauer was recognized for his work as a business leader and philanthropist. After immigrating to America by himself at the age of 14 and achieving an American education, he served as CEO and Chairman of Aramark Corporation for 30 years. After retirement, he turned his attention to civic, educational and philanthropic ventures.
2015: John C. Bogle
John “Jack” Bogle was honored for his investment philosophies and his widespread impact on the financial industry. He created The Vanguard Group in 1974 and served as Chairman and CEO for over 20 years. In 2004, TIME Magazine named Mr. Bogle one of the world’s 100 most powerful and influential people, and Fortune Magazine designated him as one of the investment industry’s four “Giants of the 20th Century.”
2014: Kenneth Gamble
Mr. Gamble was recognized for his role in developing the Philadelphia soul music genre and his impact on the music industry. He formed Philadelphia International Records in 1971 with Leon Huff and together they produced some of the most popular soul music songs of the 1970s.
2013: Terry Gross
2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the beloved Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Lauded as America’s “unofficial poet laureate of the interview,” Terry’s insightful conversations with leading writers, actors, directors, musicians, comics, journalists, scholars and more reach over five million listeners weekly and are carried by hundreds of public media broadcasters worldwide. Gross was awarded a National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016, and Fresh Air received the 1994 Peabody Award for its “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight.”
2012: Judy Woodruff
Judy Woodruff was honored for her work as a broadcast journalist. She joined PBS in 1983 as the chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. She is currently the anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour. Ms. Woodruff has covered every presidential election and convention since 1976 and moderated several U.S. presidential debates.
2010: Carl Kasell
Carl Kasell was honored for this work as a newscaster for NPR and as a judge on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! He joined NPR as a news announcer for Weekend All Things Considered and later worked as the news announcer for Morning Edition from 1979 to 2009.
2009: Ken Burns
Acclaimed American filmmaker Ken Burns was honored for his dedication to public media and for his career directing and producing television documentaries. His documentary series include The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks, The Vietnam War and many more. Mr. Burns is decorated as a two-time Emmy winner, a two-time Grammy winner, a Peabody Award Winner, Producer’s Guild of America’s “Producer of The Year” and a two-time Academy Award nominee.
2008: Gwen Ifill
Gwen Ifill was honored for her work as a journalist and television newscaster. She was the moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and co-anchor and co-managing editor with Judy Woodruff for PBS NewsHour. She also moderated the 2004 and 2008 Vice Presidential debates.
2006: Cokie Roberts
Considered one of the “founding mothers of NPR,” Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne “Cokie” Roberts was honored for her outstanding work as a journalist and author. She joined NPR in 1978 as a congressional correspondent, where she served for ten years until she became a contributor to PBS NewsHour and Morning Edition. Cokie died in 2019 at the age of 75, and has been memorialized in the best-selling book Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR.
2005: Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer
Journalists Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer created The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, which later became PBS NewsHour, which they hosted from 1975 until 1995. After Mr. MacNeil retired, Mr. Lehrer continued to host the show until 2011. In 2005, they were honored with the Lifelong Learning Award for their remarkable contributions to public media, and in 2008 they were awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.
2004: Tom Ridge
Mr. Ridge was recognized for his work as the first-ever Secretary of Homeland Security, a former U.S. Congressman representing Pennsylvania’s 21st District and the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania and for his military service during the Vietnam War. Ridge has long been recognized for his contributions to the field of antiterrorism during his tenure at The Department of Homeland Security from 2001-2005.
2003: Edward G. Rendell
Former Governor Rendell was honored for his commitment to Pennsylvania while serving as the Governor of Pennsylvania, Mayor of Philadelphia and District Attorney of Philadelphia. Rendell has been a mainstay in Pennsylvania politics for decades with The New York Times calling his tenure as mayor “the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history.”
2002: Charles P. Pizzi
Mr. Pizzi was honored for his work as a public servant and business leader throughout the Philadelphia area.
Please check back soon for updates on tickets for the 2022 Lifelong Learning Award event!