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The Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service

The Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service

Among the many honors bestowed by institutions of higher education, the Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service carries special significance. Each year, the College awards the Medal to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to education and human development. Recipients of the TC Medal for Distinguished Service are honored at the May convocation ceremonies, where they also serve as graduation speakers.

Since its founding in 1887 to help immigrant children and their families, the College has been a powerful force for social justice, championing education that opens doors, unlocks human potential and debates our society’s most inconvenient truths. The College was the birthplace of the community school; of urban education studies and supplementary education; of special education and the inclusive education movement. TC prepared black teachers from the South at a time when institutions in Southern states would not accept them. Through the years our faculty have re-envisioned education to speak to the changing demographics of each new generation. Today, through a network of public schools we support in Harlem, we are leaders in modeling university-public school partnership.

Teachers College awards the Medal of Distinguished Service to those whose lives and work have immeasurably advanced social justice. TC Medalists have included:

Awarded each year at the College’s convocation ceremonies, the Teachers College Medal provides its recipients with a unique public platform from which to comment on issues of the day. Our medalists deliver memorable addresses that are archived on the College’s website and often reported on by national and local media.

Past Medalists

2020 - Present

2020

Nikole Hannah-Jones

2010 - 2019

2019

Sarita Brown
Rosie Phillips Davis
Michelle Fine
Barbara Morgan

2018

Jelani Cobb
Eric Holder
Helene Gayle
Walter Mischel

2017

Jacqueline Woodson
Melissa Fleming
Madhav Chavan
Khalil Gibran Muhammad

2016

Susan Fiske
Thomas Frieden
Kris D. GutiƩrrez
Sandra Jackson-Dumont

2015

Deborah Loewenberg Ball
John Ioannidis
Kent McGuire
Luis Moll

2014

Calvin O. Butts III
Temple Grandin
Sonia Nieto
Carl Wieman

2013

Thomas Friedman
Lee Sing Kong
Merryl Tisch

2012

Shirley Brice Heath
Martha Kanter
Neil Degrasse Tyson

2011

Andres Alonso
Linda Darling Hammond
Bob Herbert

2010

Jill Biden
Gail Collins
Spike Lee
Richard Mills

2000 - 2009

2009

Cory Booker
Ann Gentile
Judith Shapiro

2008

Gloria Ladson-Billings
David Paterson
Randi Weingarten

2007

Shirley Ann Jackson
Lee Shulman
Thomas Sobol

2006

William G. Bowen
Benjamin Carson
K. Patricia Cross
David Halberstam
Frances Hesselbein
Freeman Hrabowski
Thomas Kean
Arthur Levine
Charles B. Rangel
Ruth Westheimer

2005

Jerome Bruner
Judy Collins
Ossie Davis
Ruby Dee
Richard Heffner

2004

Lee C. Bollinger
Jane Goodall
Vartan Gregorian
Johnathan Kozol
George Mitchell
Claude Steele

2003

Ken Burns
Morris Dees
Reverend James Forbes
Pete Seeger
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

2002

Cheryl Brown
Coretta Scott King
David Levering Lewis
Congressman John Lewis

2001

Wynton Marsalis
Frank McCourt
Milbrey McLaughlin

2000

Ellen Futter
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Gov. James B. Hunt
Edward Zigler

1990 - 1999

1999

Leonard Blackman
Rudolph Crew
Ruth J. Simmons

1998

Carol Gilligan

1997

Robert Coles
James P. Comer
Richard W. Riley
Charlayne Hunter- Gault

1996

Ramon C. Cortines
Paulo R.N. Freire
Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot

1995

Fred W. Friendly
Robert P. Moses
Deborah Meier

1994

Howard Gardner
A. Harry Passow
Frank Newman
Nel Noddings
Donald M. Stewart

1993

Gregory R. Anrig
Edmund W. Gordon

1992

Johnnetta Cole
Morton Deutsch
Stephen Jay Gould

1991

Maya Angelou
Maxine Greene
Theodore R. Sizer
Huan Lee

1990

Sidney Altman
Fred M. Hechinger

1980 - 1989

1989

Edward J. Meade, Jr.
Seymour B. Sarason
Donna E. Shalala
Donald E. Super

1988

Ernest L. Boyer
Lauren Resnick

1987

Gordon M. Ambach
Mary Hatwood Futrell
Philip W. Jackson
Philip H. Phenix

1986

Martha Hill
Floretta Dukes McKenzie
T. Neville Postlethwaite
Carl R. Rogers

1985

Jeanne S. Chall
I. Ignacy Goldberg
Albert Shanker

1984

Marian Wright Edelman
Eli Ginzberg Lewis

1983

Eleanor J. Gibson
John L. Goodlad
Clarence E. Pearson
Mina Rees

1982

Mary Jean Bowman
Norman Cousins
Harry N. Rivlin

1981

Alonzo A. Crim
Lucille E. Notter
B. Othanel Smith

1980

William H. Nault
Israel Scheffler

1970 - 1979

1979

Mortimer J. Abramowitz
Helen K. Mussallem
Wilson Riles

1978

Patricia A. Graham
Alice Miel
Patrick Supes
Robert L. Thorndike
Robert Jackson
Gary Orfield
Michael Rebell

1977

Allison Davis
Jacob W. Getzels
Anne Roe

1976

Stephen K. Bailey
Marian G. Heard

1975

Lee J. Cronbach
Dean Dixon
John H. Fischer
Margaret Mead

1974

Faye G. Abdellah
Helen L. Peterson
Maxwell S. Stewart
Florence B. Stratemeyer

1973

Bruno Bettelheim
Albert H. Bowker
Willard S. Elsbree
A. Babs Fafunwa
John K. Norton
Helen M. Walker

1972

W. Randolph Burgess
Kenneth W. Clark
Roma Gans
Stephen H. Stackpole

1971

Joan Ganz Cooney
Josiah W. Gitt
John W. Macy, Jr.
Shirley St. Hill Chisholm

1970

Karl Worth Bigelow
Tooryalay Etemadi
Torsten Husen
W. Genteza Kajubi
Clarence Linton
Kwaja Ghulam A. Saiyidain
Benjamin Bloom
Leonard Covello
Vivian W. Henderson

1960 - 1969

1969

John Brademas
Rachel L. McManus
Benjamin D. Wood

1968

James E. Allen, Jr.
John L. Childs
Arthur I. Gates
Ralph W. Tyler

1967

John W. Studebaker
Earl J. McGrath
Samuel M. Brownell
Lawrence G. Derthick
Sterling M. McMurrin
Francis Keppel
Harold Howe II

1966

Harold R. Medina

1965

Mbiyu Koinange
John E. Fogarty

1964

Timothy N. Pfeiffer

1963

Cleveland E. Dodge
Anisio Spinola Teixeim

1962

Hollis L. Caswell

1961

Frederick M. Raubinger
Matta Akrawi
Irene Dalis

1960

Walter D. Cocking

1950 - 1959

1959

Lucile Petry Leone
Hsu Ai-Chu
Arthur W. Page
Bertha S. Adkins

1956

Guhlam Hasan Mujaddadi

1954

George R. Ashbridge
Mohsen Assadi
Amir Boktor
Eduardo Rancano Canto
George S. Counts
Kenneth S. Cunningham
Maurice J.J. Dartigue
Fernando Tude de Souza
Aino Jennie Durchman
Mohamad Ali El Erian
Erich J.K. Hylla
William B. Inglis
Mohamad Fadhil Jamali
Concha Romero James
Abdul Hamid Kadhim
Isaac L. Kandel
Habib Amin Kurani
Valentine E. Macy, Jr.
William F. Russell
Issa Khan Sadiq
Irma Silva Salas
Adriaan J. Smuts