Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell and Judge Marjorie O. Rendell were honored at the annual holiday dinner of the Pennsylvania Society with the society’s 2015 Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement. The gala, held at the Waldorf Astoria New York on Dec. 12, is an annual gathering of Society members, including leaders in the business and public sector.
The Rendells said at the gala, attended by Penn President Amy Gutmann, that they would be dedicating their award to the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement, which they co-founded. The Rendell Center is based at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania, and both centers share a mission of civic education and engagement, with the Rendell Center focusing on elementary school students and APPC on middle and high school students.
Both of the Rendells are Penn graduates.
Judge Rendell, who has senior status on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a statement: “Joining forces with APPC has given us the opportunity to take our message to the next level, reaching all phases of a child’s progression in education, from elementary through voting age. Taking senior status on the bench will enable me to devote more time to ensuring that our work has impact as well as the necessary focus to be well received by teachers and students and relevant to their curriculum. We are doing this work in order to make a difference, and we need to make certain that we are accomplishing that. Nothing is more important than the education of our children to be responsible adults and the next generation of engaged citizens.”
The Pennsylvania Society’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement, founded in 1908 in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Society, is given annually to recognize “leadership, citizenship, and contributions to the arts, science, education and industry.” Previous recipients include Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mamie Doud Eisenhower, Andrew Wyeth, Walter H. Annenberg, C. Everett Koop M.D., Elsie Hillman, George H. W. Bush, Judith Rodin, and M. Night Shyamalan. The Society, founded in 1899, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan charitable group which aims to unite Pennsylvanians, honor achievement, and “promote scholarship, good will, and understanding.”