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  • His Highness the Aga Khan.
    AKDN / Gary Otte
Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2005 (Media Advisory)

The 23 worldwide foundations established by Andrew Carnegie during his lifetime have announced the names of the recipients of The Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2005.

The recipients of the awards, which are regarded as the Nobel prize for philanthropy, will be:

- His Highness the Aga Khan;
- Anna Southall, Chair of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, on behalf of the Cadbury family;
- Eleanor Hewlett Gimon, on behalf of the Hewlett family;
- Susan Packard Orr on behalf of the Packard family;
- Sir Tom Farmer, Scots billionaire founder of Kwik-Fit;
- Agnes Gund, chair of the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Named after Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who left the equivalent of $15 billion to philanthropy, the Medal is awarded to inspiring philanthropists. The Award Ceremony will take place at the new home of Scotland ’s Parliament in Edinburgh on 4 October, preceded by an international philanthropy symposium.

The events are being organized by the UK-based Carnegie trusts.

The announcement comes on the anniversary of Carnegie’s death on August 11, 1919. The Scots American gave away the equivalent of nearly $15 billion dollars, establishing a family of foundations worldwide.

These foundations have been responsible for providing incalculable benefits such as 2,500 free libraries across the world, the Carnegie Hall in New York and the International Peace Palace in The Hague. Carnegie’s philanthropy funded JK Galbraith’s The Affluent Society and the discovery of insulin. Even the children’s favourite, Sesame Street, was supported by Carnegie.

Today the Carnegie foundations support cutting edge scientific research into global ecology; millions of dollars of educational and social development projects in Africa; conflict resolution and democracy-building in the former USSR, China and the Middle East; and civil society and community development initiatives in Europe and North America.

For the first time, the medal ceremony will take place in Scotland, where Andrew Carnegie was born. The Debating Chamber of Scotland’s Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh, will be the setting of the presentation on October 4 to six philanthropists and their families, deemed to have contributed their philanthropy to improve the conditions of mankind. They will be presented in front of an invited audience of over 400 from the worlds of philanthropy, politics, the media and non-governmental organisations, who will have taken part in an international philanthropy symposium organised by Carnegie earlier in the day.

Presented every two years to inspirational philanthropists and their families who have dedicated their private wealth to public good, previous recipients of the awards include the Gates, Rockefeller and Sainsbury families, media tycoon Ted Turner and financier George Soros.

William Thomson, a great grandson of Andrew Carnegie, is Chair of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2005 Organising Committee and the International Selection Committee 2005. He said:

“The Medals of Philanthropy commemorate Carnegie’s philanthropic legacy and belief that private wealth should be used to benefit mankind. Recipients of the medal share Andrew Carnegie’s vision that distributing one’s accumulated wealth for the common good is just as important a task as building up that wealth. 

“Philanthropic work must also reflect a range and depth of endeavours and a sustained record of accomplishment. Additionally the impact of the philanthropy on a field, a nation or on the international community needs to be strong and continuous.

“I need hardly say that the 2005 Medals will be presented to people whose philanthropic works more than fit these criteria and the Selection Committee, in announcing their names today, looks forward to an event which honours philanthropy throughout the world, past and present.”

The event is being supported by the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive, EventScotland, Visit Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and Fife Council and has been organised by the four UK-based Carnegie Trusts.

For further information, please contact:
Alex Barr +44 (0) 141 333 9585
Frances Donald +44 (0) 1592 643 200

The Department of Public Affairs
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For further information on the Scottish Parliament or Holyrood, please contact: Sally Coyne +44 (0) 131 348 6265