James Cardinal Gibbons Medal

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James Cardinal Gibbons Medal
Awarded forDistinguished and meritorious service to the Roman Catholic Church, the United States of America, or The Catholic University of America
CountryUnited States
Presented byCatholic University of America Alumni Association
First awarded1949

The James Cardinal Gibbons Medal is named in honor James Cardinal Gibbons, the founder and first chancellor of The Catholic University of America. It is intended to honor any person who, in the opinion of the university's Alumni Association's board of governors, has rendered distinguished and meritorious service to the Roman Catholic Church, the United States of America, or The Catholic University of America.[1]

Winners include Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Senator John F. Kennedy, Speaker John W. McCormack, Sargent Shriver, Nancy Reagan, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Sister Helen Prejean, and Ronan Tynan.[1]

The Gibbons Medal is conferred by the university president on behalf of the CUA Alumni Association during the alumni awards ceremony. John F. Kennedy was awarded the medal while still a senator, upon the nomination of Eddie Pryzbyla, a future winner himself.[2]


Year Awardee Background
2017 Gary Sinise[3] Actor, veterans advocate
2016 None awarded
2015 Timothy Shriver CEO of the Special Olympics
2014 None awarded
2013 Sr. Mary Scullion, RSM Activist, co-founder of Philadelphia's Project H.O.M.E.
2012 Kevin Ryan President of Covenant House International
2011 None awarded
2010 Sr. Alice Zachman, SSND Human rights advocate in Guatemala
2009 Ronan Tynan Irish singer, Paralympic athlete
2008 Kenneth Hackett President of Catholic Relief Services
2007 None awarded
2005 Darrell Green American football player, founder of the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation
2004 Gen. Barry McCaffrey United States Army general, national security consultant
2003 Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ
2002 Aaron Neville Four time-Grammy Award-winning vocalist
2001 Cardinal Avery Dulles Jesuit priest, theologian, and Catholic cardinal
2000 William H. Graham Sr. Former Catholic University of America faculty member
1999 Kathryn J. DuFour First female judge in the Maryland Circuit Courts and CUA benefactor
1998 Lindy Boggs US Representative from Louisiana and United States Ambassador to the Holy See
1997 Henry Hyde US Representative from Illinois
Br. Patrick Ellis, FSC De La Salle Christian Brother and president of the Catholic University of America
1996 Cardinal James Hickey Former Archbishop of Washington, DC and chancellor of the Catholic University of America
1995 Robert P. Casey Former Governor of Pennsylvania
1994 Antonin Scalia Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Richard W. Galiher Sr. Attorney and CUA benefactor
1993 Edward J. Pryzbyla President, Edwards Enterprises, alumnus, benefactor
1992 George J. Quinn Chairman, Alton Engineering, alumnus, benefactor
1991 William J. Byron President, The Catholic University of America
1990 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Executive Vice President, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Founding Chairwoman, Special Olympics International
1989 William D. Borders Retired Archbishop of Baltimore
1988 Edward Bennett Williams Attorney
1988 Admiral James D. Watkins Former Chief of Naval Operations, former secretary of energy, former chairman of Reagan's HIV Task Force
1987 Philip M. Hannan Archbishop of New Orleans, alumnus
1986 Nancy Reagan Former First Lady of the United States of America
1985 Mildred Fay Jefferson M.D., surgeon and pro-life leader
1985 Gilbert V. Hartke Chairman Emeritus, The Catholic University of America Drama Department, alumnus
1984 Bruce Ritter Founder, Covenant House
1983 None Awarded.
1982 Raymond A. DuFour president and chairman of the board, DuFour Enterprises, Inc., alumnus, benefactor
1981 John Tracy Ellis Church historian, alumnus
1980 J. Peter Grace Chief Executive Officer, W.R. Grace Co.
1980 William Cardinal Baum Prefect, Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, former chancellor of The Catholic University of America
1979 Terence Cardinal Cooke Archbishop of New York, alumnus
1978 Clarence C. Walton President, The Catholic University of America, alumnus
1977 Benjamin T. Rome Chairman of the board, Hyman Construction Company, alumnus, benefactor
1976 Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Archbishop of Baltimore
1975 John J. Sirica Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
1974 Michael Mansfield U.S. Senator
1973 Helen Hayes Actress
1972 Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Archbishop of Washington and chancellor of the university
1971 James Walsh Superior General, Maryknoll Fathers
1970 Dr. Carroll Hochwalt Former chairman, The Catholic University of America, Board of trustees
1969 Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. President, University of Notre Dame, alumnus
1968 Danny Thomas Entertainer
1967 James J. Norris Assistant to the executive director, Catholic Relief Services
1966 Earl Warren Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
1965 Sargent Shriver Director, Peace Corps
1964 John A. McCone Director, Central Intelligence Agency
1963 John W. McCormack Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
1962 Luke Edward Hart Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus
1961 Charles G. Fenwick Director, Legal Affairs, Organization of American States
1960 Karl F. Herzfeld Physicist
1959 General Alfred Gruenther Past President, American Red Cross
1958 Thomas E. Murray Consultant, Atomic Energy Commission
1957 Bryan J. McEntegart Bishop of Brooklyn
1956 Ignatius Smith, O.P. Dean, The Catholic University of America School of Philosophy
1956 John F. Kennedy[2] U.S. Senator (MA) (Later President of the United States of America)
1955 General Lawton Collins Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
1954 J. Edgar Hoover Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
1953 Fulton J. Sheen
1951 Fulton Oursler Author, senior editor, Reader's Digest
1950 General Carlos Romulo Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines
1949 Carlton J. H. Hayes Professor, historian, publicist

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "James Cardinal Gibbons Medalists". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Mazzenga, Maria (November 19, 2015). "The Archivist's Nook: About That Time Eddie Pryzbyla Nominated JFK". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  3. ^ "Alumni Association Announces Gary Sinise as Gibbons Medalist". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved September 9, 2016.