WILMINGTON, Del., April 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Four renowned leaders and achievers will be honored tonight for their lifetime accomplishments with the 33rd annual Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service. The awards recognize individuals who have enriched modern society through their professional and personal endeavors.
The 2012 Common Wealth Award winners are:
- Madeleine K. Albright , 64th Secretary of State of the United States and the first woman to hold that office; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, for Government;
- Wolf Blitzer , lead political anchor for CNN; anchor of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer ; for Mass Communications;
- Kenneth Cole , renowned American designer and humanitarian; Chairman, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, for Public Service;
- Judith Jamison , celebrated dancer and choreographer; artistic director emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, for Dramatic Arts.
The honorees will be recognized at the Common Wealth Awards ceremony hosted by The PNC Financial Services Group tonight at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington.The Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service were first presented in 1979 by The Common Wealth Trust which was created under the will of Ralph Hayes, an influential business executive and philanthropist. The awards are now made by The Ralph Hayes Common Wealth Foundation, which is funded by the Common Wealth Trust. PNC serves as trustee and administrator of the Trust. In the 33-year history of the Common Wealth Awards, $5 million has been awarded to 181 honorees. The 2012 honorees will receive a shared award of $300,000. "The 2012 Common Wealth Award winners represent the spectrum of human endeavors and the best of human achievement," said PNC Regional President Nicholas M. Marsini, Jr. "They are leaders, innovators and artists who have used their singular talents to make a difference in our world. We applaud these individuals for their stellar accomplishments." Ralph Hayes, creator of the Common Wealth Awards, served on the board of directors of PNC Delaware's predecessor banks from 1935 to 1965. Through the awards, he sought to recognize outstanding achievement in eight disciplines: dramatic arts, literature, science, invention, mass communications, public service, government, and sociology. The awards are also an incentive for individuals to make future contributions to the world community. For three decades, the Common Wealth Awards have recognized heads of state, scientists and inventors, explorers, authors, performing artists and activists. Past winners include 11 Nobel laureates, among them, human rights leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, statesman Henry Kissinger and authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison. Other high achievers on the Common Wealth Awards roster include former Secretary of State Colin Powell; H.M. Queen Noor of Jordan; dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov; Hollywood icons Sidney Poitier and Meryl Streep; astronauts John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin; primatologist Jane Goodall; ocean explorer Robert Ballard; television journalists Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper; and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee. The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) provides investment and wealth management, fiduciary services, FDIC-insured banking products and services and lending and borrowing of funds through its subsidiary, PNC Bank, National Association, which is a Member FDIC, and provides certain fiduciary and agency services through its subsidiary PNC Delaware Trust Company. PNC does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice.
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