Historian Jon Meacham to be the 2013 Founder's Award Honoree

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce that it will honor Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jon Meacham with its prestigious Founder’s Award. The annual dinner and awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at The Ritz Carlton.

Mr. Meacham, the executive editor at trade publisher Random House, will be honored for his distinguished career as a best-selling author of historical nonfiction, including the highly acclaimed American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House and his most recent publication Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. Mr. Meacham is the former co-anchor of the public-affairs broadcast “Need to Know on PBS,” former editor of Newsweek, and a member of the Society of American Historians.

HSP will also honor Sarah and Philip Price Jr. with the Heritage Award for their contributions to the future of the Philadelphia region and Mrs. Price’s leadership as a former HSP Chairman of the Board.

The event will take place at The Ritz-Carlton beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception followed by dinner, an awards ceremony, and a live auction. 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. Click here for more information about tickets and event sponsorship.

Rudy Lewis is this year’s event chair. Deborah Dilworth Bishop, Dorothy Mather Ix, and Alice Lea Tasman are honorary co-chairs, and Mark Aronchick and Matthew Claeys are corporate chairs.

Media is invited to attend the event. To reserve your seat, please contact the Society’s Director of Programs and Communications, Lauri Cielo, at 215-732-6200 ext. 233 or lcielo@hsp.org.

The Founder’s Award was established in 2000 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s 175th anniversary celebration to applaud individuals and organizations that champion history’s uses and enhance its value to the public. Past recipients include Ken Burns, Andrea Mitchell, Vartan Gregorian, Ed Bradley, Jim Lehrer, James Billington, Robert W. Bogle, William T. Coleman Jr., John C. and Chara C. Haas, Cokie Roberts, and Susan Eisenhower. Last year the Founder’s Award was presented to David McCullough.


About the Honorees

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor at Random House. He is a former co-anchor of the public-affairs broadcast “Need to Know on PBS” and former editor of Newsweek.

Mr. Meacham’s latest book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was published by Random House on November 13, 2012. His book, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, was published by Random House on November 11, 2008, and debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list. On April 20, 2009, American Lion was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Meacham is also the author of two other New York Times bestsellers — American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, about the wartime relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill. Named a book of the year by The Los Angeles Times, it won The Churchill Centre’s 2005 Emery Reves Award for the best book of the year on Winston Churchill (previous winners include Roy Jenkins, Sir Martin Gilbert, and William Manchester) and the William H. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium’s Book of the Year Award.

In 2009 Mr. Meacham was elected to the Society of American Historians. He serves on the Board of Trustees of The Churchill Centre, the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, and on the Advisory Committee of the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier.

Mr. Meacham has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. In 2001, he edited Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement (Random House), a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the midcentury struggle against Jim Crow. He has served as a judge for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Medal by the Anti-Defamation League.

Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Mr. Meacham was educated at St. Nicholas School, The McCallie School, and graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature; he was salutatorian and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Meacham is a communicant of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, where he has served on the Vestry of the 180-year-old Episcopal parish. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees and of the Board of Regents of The University of the South. Meacham currently serves on the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street and the Leadership Council of the Harvard Divinity School. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and also holds five other honorary doctorates. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.

Sarah and Philip Price Jr. have both worked to improve the lives of Philadelphians—through public service, work in the fields of law, education, and community development, and support for local nonprofits. She, a former chair of HSP’s Board of Councilors, and he, a former state senator, have made significant contributions to the future of the Philadelphia region.

Sarah Price has served on the HSP Board of Councilors since 2003, holding the position of chair from 2008-2011. She also served on the Board’s Institutional Advancement Committee and Founder’s Committee and is a longtime member of the Treasures Society.

Before her work at HSP, Mrs. Price was the director of public relations and project coordinator for PENNlincs, a science mentoring program based at the University of Pennsylvania. PENNlincs is a research and development group that links recent theory and research in cognitive science to education efforts in public schools, cultural institutions, and higher education.

Sarah Price has been a longtime supporter of the arts and art education. She received a bachelor of arts from Smith College and a master of arts from Bryn Mawr College. Mrs. Price taught art history at Rosemont College and regional adult education programs. She has served on the boards of many Philadelphia organizations, including the Awbury Arboretum, Central Friends of the Free Library, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology Women’s Board, the Vestry of Saint Martin in the Fields, White-Williams Scholars, and the YWCA of Germantown.

Mrs. Price is only one half of this accomplished Philadelphia couple. Mr. Price, trained as a lawyer, has had a dynamic career that has taken him from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and back. He served as a Pennsylvania state senator from 1979 through 1982, representing Northwest Philadelphia.

In addition, Philip Price has worked extensively in the area of corporate-sponsored community development. For 16 years he served as president of the Allegheny West Foundation’s Community Development Project, which worked to improve the quality of life for 20,000 residents in North Philadelphia. He also served as executive director of the Philadelphia Plan, a group of ten local corporate and community development initiatives.

Mr. Price has been active in public interest law as a staff attorney in the Public Defender’s office. Also, for several years he worked with the Elder Justice Project, a program organized by the District Attorney’s office and the Philadelphia Bar Association to provide advice and counsel to elderly victims of crime.

More recently, Philip Price served as Fairmount Park Commissioner from 2002 through 2009 and as the Commission’s treasurer from 2006 through 2009. He serves on the boards of many nonprofits, including Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust,  Fairmount Park Conservancy (Emeritus), Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center, the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia, Ludwick Foundation, St James School, The Woodlands Cemetery Company of Philadelphia, and the Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation. He is a former board member of the Fairmount Park Art Association (now known as the Association for Public Art), and the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Sarah and Philip Price, who reside in Chestnut Hill, are the proud parents of three children and six grandchildren.

Together the Prices have provided invaluable leadership and support to HSP and to countless organizations in Philadelphia. For their continued service to the region, HSP is honored to present Sarah and Philip Price with the Heritage Award.