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The Speaker's Society Awards

Thomas Kennedy Award & Speaker's Medallion        Thomas Kennedy Award & Speaker's Medallion

The Thomas Kennedy Award and the Speaker's Medallion take their design from the mace of the Maryland House of Delegates. The mace is the symbol of the independence and authority of the House. It is used to bring order to the House and to summon witnesses before it. The mace first took on special meaning in the context of the history of a legislative body when it was employed by the House of Commons as a symbol of its resistance to King Charles I. The mace of the House of Commons apparently was an ebony rod surmounted by a silver globe bearing the King's coat of arms and other marks of Royal authority.

The first mace of the House of Delegates (then known as the Lower House of Assembly) was presented to it by Governor Francis Nicholson in 1698. Although it is not known for certain, the present mace may well be the original mace. It is capped by silver, upon which is engraved the 1794 Great Seal of Maryland, designed by Charles Willson Peale, a native Marylander and one of the foremost artists of his day. The mace is 24 1/2 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter and is made of ebony. Today it is placed in a wooden holder on the lower rostrum of the House of Delegates Chamber whenever the House is in Session.

Annually, two medallions are awarded by the speaker. One is awarded to a former member of the House in recognition of an outanding career of service. The other is given to individuals chosen for exemplary service to the House and the state. Both are given in memory of Thomas Kennedy, a former member of the House, for his courageous stand on principle.

The Thomas Kennedy Award
Awarded to a former member of the House of Delegates for his or her personal courage and dedication to the principles of liberty and freedom.

1995 Louis L. Goldstein
1996 Lucille Maurer
1997 Charles McC. Mathias
1998 Carlton R. Sickles
1999 J. Glenn Beall, Jr.
2000 Helen L. Koss
2001 Donald B. Robertson
2002 Marvin Mandel
2003 Tyras S. Athey
2004 Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
2005 Paul S. Sarbanes
2005 James Clark, Jr.
2007 John Hanson Briscoe
2008 Benjamin L. Cardin
2009 Harry R. Hughes
2010 Lorraine M. Sheehan
2011 Elijah E. Cummings
2012 George C. Edwards
2013 Jean B. Cryor and Howard P. Rawlings
2014 Hattie N. Harrison
2015 William J. Frank
2016 Elizabeth Smith-Anderson
2017 A. Wade Kach
2018 Melvin L. Stukes
2019 Joan M. Cadden
2020 Norman H. Conway
2022 Michael E. Busch

The Speaker's Medallion

Presented to a Maryland citizen who has made an outstanding contribution to the state

1995: Dr. William C. Richardson

1996: Judges Robert C. Murphy & Robert F. Sweeney

1997: Walter Sondheim, Jr.

1998: Bishop L. Robinson

1999: Dr. Nancy Grasmick

2000: Parren J. Mitchell

2001: H. Furlong Baldwin and Susan McCahan

2002: William Donald Schaefer

2003: Dr. Morton I. Rapoport

2004: Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III

2005: Lieut. General (Ret.) James F. Fretterd

2006: Edward E. Cornwell III, MD and Thomas M. Scalea, MD

2007: Dr. William E. Kirwan

2008: Sister Helen Amos

2009: William C. Baker

2010: Helen Delich Bentley

2011: Edward D. Miller and Ronald R. Peterson

2012: Kevin A. Plank

2013: John M. Colmers

2014: Rebecca J. Landa, Holly Winde Surhoff, and Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse

2015: Dr. Darryll J. Pines

2016: Dr. E. Albert Reece and Robert A. Chrencik

2017: Norman R. Augustine

2018: Barbara Ann Mikulski

2019: Gerald S. Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John P. McNamara, Rebecca A. Smith, and Wendi Winters

2020: Linda R. Gooden

2022: Nancy K. Kopp

The Casper R. Taylor, Jr. Founder's Award

Presented to a sitting member of the House of Delegates for steadfast commitment to public service and the integrity of the House of Delegates

2003: John S. Arnick

2004: Pauline H. Menes

2005: Hattie N. Harrison

2006: A. Wade Kach

2007: Ruth M. Kirk

2008: not awarded

2009: Mary Ann Love

2010: Carolyn J. Krysiak

2014: Kathleen M. Dumais

2011: Rudolph C. Cain

2012: Brian K. McHale

2013: Veronica L. Turner

2014: Kathleen M. Dumais

2015: Tawanna P. Gaines

2016: Samuel I. Rosenberg

2017: Sheila E. Hixson and Susan L. M. Aumann

2018: Nicholaus R. Kipke and Frank S. Turner

2019: Adrienne A. Jones

2020: Dana M. Stein

2022: Maggie McIntosh