About the Medal
Although the William Allen White Foundation had been recognizing individuals for outstanding journalistic service since 1950, the first William Allen White medallions were not awarded until 1970. Before then, winners of the Award for Outstanding Journalistic Merit received certificates.
In 1969, however, the Foundation, under acting director Lee F. Young and Foundation president Dolph Simons, Jr., commissioned University of Kansas professor of design Elden C. Tefft to design a medallion worthy of representing the prestigious award. The result was a medallion design that carries a portrait of White on the front and this inscription on the back:
American Journalist Who Exemplifies
The name of the individual medal winner is inscribed directly above this standing inscription.
Medallic Art Company of Danbury, Conn., was contracted to manufacture the medallions and to deliver them by Feb. 10, White's birthday, 1970.
The bronze medallion is two-and-one-half
inches, and is mounted in a black morocco/blue-lined easel case. A medallion
has been presented to all surviving Journalistic Merit winners, including
those cited before the creation of the medallion.