In an event celebrating the best of human achievement, The PNC Financial Services Group tonight hosted the 2002 Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service. Six leaders in the arts, science and public service received the awards at a black-tie ceremony held here in the company of more than 300 invited guests.
The following individuals were honored for outstanding contributions to humanity:
-- Julie Andrews, world-renowned performer whose stardom spans movies, theater, television and concert hall, for Dramatic Arts; -- Carlos Fuentes, Mexico's preeminent writer of fiction and political commentary and a leading cultural force in modern Latin America, for Literature; -- Dr. Lonnie Thompson and Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson, researchers who have tracked Earth's ancient climate history and global warming, for Science and Invention; -- George Mitchell, former U.S. Senate majority leader and peace mediator for Northern Ireland and the Middle East, for Government; -- Fred Rogers, children's television icon, creator and host of the critically acclaimed Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, for Mass Communications.
Guests at the Common Wealth Awards ceremony included leaders from the business community, government and elected office, the professions, education, the arts and community service. Among the dignitaries were Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner, Mexico's ambassador to the United States, Juan Jose Bremer, and Mexico's ambassador to the United Nations, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser.
The Common Wealth Awards were first presented in 1979 to reward and encourage the best of human performance. Since that time, 138 honorees of international renown have received more than $2 million in cash prizes conferred by the awards.
Funding for the Common Wealth awards comes from a trust set up by the late Ralph Hayes, an influential business executive and philanthropist. He served on the board of directors of PNC's predecessor banks from 1943 to 1965. Through his endowment, Hayes sought to recognize outstanding achievement in seven areas of human endeavor: mass communications, public service, dramatic arts, science and invention, literature, government and sociology.
The Common Wealth honorees are among the most gifted and famous people in modern history. Ten past honorees have been winners of the Nobel Prize, such as international human rights leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Other luminaries on the Common Wealth roster include dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov, renown television journalist Christiane Amanpour, former statesman Henry Kissinger, and genetic scientist Craig Venter.
The 2002 winners continue the Common Wealth tradition of excellence, service and high achievement.
Entertainment legend, Julie Andrews, 66, has spent a lifetime bringing joy and inspiration to audiences of all ages. In recognition of her versatile, successful career, she receives the 2002 Common Wealth Award for Dramatic Arts. Andrews achieved fame with her warm, rich singing voice and captivating performances on stage, screen and television. She is best-known for her career-making roles in My Fair Lady on Broadway, and movie sensations Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Victor/Victoria and recently, The Princess Diaries. Her signature work has earned her an Academy Award, three Golden Globes and several Tony Award nominations. Today, Andrews is busier than ever and continues to delight her fans as an actress, speaker and author of children's books.
Mexico's most celebrated novelist and critic, Carlos Fuentes, 73, wins the 2002 Common Wealth Award for Literature. In a career spanning more than 40 years, he stands as one of the world's finest Spanish-language authors. His award-winning fiction includes The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962), Terra Nostra (1975), The Old Gringo (1985) and Christopher Unborn (1989). Fuentes has been hailed as "an elegantly acute contributor to defining modern Latin America." His body of work represents a search for national identity as it probes Mexico's history, cultural heritage and political processes. His stories combine fantasy and realism, social protest and political commentary. In addition to his writing, Fuentes served for two years as Mexico's ambassador to France. He has held academic posts at many of the world's leading universities.
Global climate change experts, Dr. Lonnie Thompson, 53, and Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson, 53, win the 2002 Common Wealth Award for Science and Invention. The Ohio State University professors are research partners at the school's Byrd Polar Research Center. They have spent the past 25 years collecting and analyzing ice cores from remote ice fields and glaciers around the world. Their findings have produced a detailed archive of Earth's ancient climate records and offer compelling evidence of global warming. They say the first indisputable signs of global warming will appear at the world's tropical glaciers. In 2001, Thompson reported that mountainous glaciers and ice caps in Africa and Peru are melting at an accelerating rate. He predicted these centuries-old ice fields will be gone within the next 15 years as global warming increases.
Former U.S. senator and international peacemaker, George Mitchell, 68, receives the 2002 Common Wealth Award for Government. The veteran Democrat from Maine began his illustrious Senate career in 1980, rose to power as majority leader in 1988 and continued in that post until his retirement in 1995. Over the years, he built enormous credibility and trust, earning bipartisan respect from his colleagues. Many still regard him as the Democrats' most successful Senate leader since Lyndon Johnson. During his tenure, Mitchell served on the Finance, Veterans Affairs and Environment and Public Works committees. On the international front, he mediated the Northern Ireland peace talks, which resulted in the historic 1998 Good Friday Peace Accord. He recently headed a commission studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For nearly 50 years, Fred Rogers, 74, has been a respected innovator and beloved figure of children's television programming. He wins the 2002 Common Wealth Award for Mass Communications. The creator and host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood has achieved international acclaim for nurturing children and their families with messages of love, acceptance and self-worth. His program, which debuted nationally in 1968, is the longest-running program on public television. Rogers' enduring popularity is rooted in his gentle, reassuring manner and his genuine respect for the dignity and feelings of young children. The four-time Emmy award-winner produced and starred in nearly 1,000 episodes before taping his last show in Dec. 2000. The show continues to be broadcast on PBS (in reruns), and Rogers continues helping children through his nonprofit production company, Family Communications Inc.
PNC Advisors is administrator of the Common Wealth Trust and a member of The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC). With $60 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2001, PNC Advisors provides a full range of tailored investment and traditional banking solutions to affluent individuals and families through PNC Bank, National Association and PNC Bank, Delaware (members FDIC) and full-service brokerage through J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of NASD, SIPC and NYSE. PNC Advisors also serves as investment manager and trustee for employee benefit plans and charitable and endowment assets. PNC Advisors currently operates in 21 states and serves over 320,000 clients.
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SOURCE: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Contact: Mary E. Biddle, Vice President of PNC Financial Services Group,
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