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Wisconsin History Makers

2010 Recipients
Photo of Mr. William E. Allen.
Mr. William E. Allen
The William Dempster Hoard Award for Distinction in Agriculture
Photo of Prof. Michael Leckrone.
Professor Michael Leckrone
The Spencer Tracy Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts
Photo of Dr. Robert R. Spitzer.
Dr. Robert R. Spitzer
The Charles Van Hise Award for Distinction in Education
Photo of Mr. Frederick P. Stratton, Jr.
Mr. Frederick P. Stratton, Jr.
The S. C. Johnson Award for Distinction in Corporate Leadership

Wisconsinites have created some of the richest history

Wisconsin lays claim to some of the most outstanding history makers in the country. While some were born here, and their formative years were the basis for creating history, others moved here and found fertile ground for realizing their dreams. Whether they were born here, lived here or worked here, the people of Wisconsin have created some of the richest history in all of the United States.

History makers with Wisconsin ties include visionaries such as Frank Lloyd Wright, who revolutionized the world of architecture; Georgia O'Keeffe, considered one of the premiere artists of the 20th century; and Vince Lombardi, whose leadership philosophy transformed a losing team into a football dynasty.

History continues to be made in Wisconsin by individuals who seem to accomplish what others cannot even dream. To honor these modern-day heroes, the Wisconsin Historical Society is proud to host the annual Wisconsin History Makers Gala. This special event formally recognizes living individuals who have recently made significant contributions to history in the state, across the nation or around the world.

Each year the Society presents five Awards for Distinction to distinguished individuals from the following categories:

  • The Frank Lloyd Wright Award for Distinction in Architecture & Design
  • The Samuel C. Johnson Award for Distinction in Corporate Leadership
  • The Frederick Jackson Turner Award for Distinction in Historical Scholarship
  • The Vince Lombardi Award for Distinction in Sports
  • The Robert & Belle Case La Follette Award for Distinction in Public Service
  • The Charles Van Hise Award for Distinction in Education
  • The Jane Bradley Pettit Award for Distinction in Philanthropy
  • The Seymour Cray Award for Distinction in Technology
  • The William Dempster Hoard Award for Distinction in Agriculture
  • The Lucius W. Nieman Award for Distinction in Journalism & Communications
  • The Aldo Leopold Award for Distinction in Environment & Conservation
  • The Spencer Tracy Award for Distinction in Performing Arts
  • The Howard Temin Award for Distinction in Science
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for Distinction in Literature
  • The Award for Distinction in Visual Arts, Given in Memory of Artist Georgia O'Keeffe
  • The Lavinia Goodell Award for Distinction in Law
  • The Rosa Minoka Hill Award for Distinction in Medicine
  • The James Willard Hurst Award for Distinction in Intellectual Achievement

Nomination Process

Nominations are submitted from various sources, including board members, Society staff and members, and local historical societies. We invite you to submit your own nomination for an individual you believe is fit to receive this distinguished award at next year's Gala.

To submit a nomination, simply send the name of the nominee and the award category, from the list above, to Wisconsin Historical Foundation, 816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706.

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