The Benton Medal

The Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service was created in 1967 to honor Sen. William H. Benton on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as chairman and publisher of Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Benton Medal recognizes persons who have rendered distinguished public service in the field of education.

The committee considers eligible recipients to include not only teachers but also educational administrators, museum directors, librarians, officers of learned societies, foundation executives, philanthropists, broadcasters and publishers -- that is, anyone who has contributed in a systematic and distinguished way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge.

Nominations for the Benton Medal are submitted and voted on by several faculty ruling bodies. Benton Medalists are invited to receive their awards at the annual Convocation ceremony in June, and to give a public lecture or workshop during the following academic year.

2018 Benton Medal Recipient

Martin Baron

Executive Editor, The Washington Post

Martin Baron, is a leader in investigative journalism, whose work reflects an unwavering commitment to fact based reporting around difficult or controversial issues, the responsibility to inform the public, and the protection of First Amendment rights and freedom of the press. News organizations under his leadership have won fourteen Pulitzer Prizes, including seven at The Washington Post, six at The Boston Globe, and one at the Miami Herald. 

Martin has led journalistic inquiries into actions of the powerful against the powerless, including concealment of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church and secret surveillance by the National Security Agency. He also tirelessly fought to free a Washington Post reporter from captivity in Iran. 

Martin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was awarded the 2016 Hitchens Prize from the Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation for his commitment to free expression, depth of intellect, and unswerving pursuit of the truth, without regard to personal or professional consequence.