Jane Addams Medal

Rockford University honors the tradition of Jane Addams by awarding the Jane Addams Medal to extraordinary women who, like our most distinguished graduate, have taken a stand in their life that required critical thinking and courageous action.

Medal recipients, in the tradition of Jane Addams, are pioneers in their professions, outstanding in character, and recognized for their contributions to the arts, sciences, and society. 

The award was established in 1944 by a Rockford College trustee, Mr. George Frazer, and the medal was designed by Chicago artist Andrene Kauffman. Each bronze-cast medal is separately inscribed with the name of the recipient and presented at a special ceremony. The medal was first awarded to Dr. Florence Rena Sabin during the college’s Centennial Celebration in 1947. Since then, the Jane Addams Medal has been awarded to more than 35 of the world’s most outstanding women in science, education, humanities, arts, law, literature, and other fields of endeavor.

Medal recipients include:

Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, 1947
Katherine Cornell, 1950
Lea Demarest Taylor, 1953
Vera Micheles Dean, 1954
Bernice Taber van der Vries, 1956
Elizabeth Wallace, 1957
Ada Comstock Notestein, 1958
Dr. Sara M. Jordan, 1958
Maria Martinez, 1959
Alice Koller Leopold, 1960
Helen Rogers Reid, 1961
Edith Hamilton, 1962
Dr. Helen Constance White, 1963
Dr. Connie Guion, 1963
Queen Frederika of Greece, 1964
Blanche Ebert Seaver, 1964
Juanita Kidd Stout, 1966
Carol Fox, 1967
Maria Tallchief, 1973
Dr. Marina von Neumann-Whitman, 1976
Corrie Ten Boom, 1978
Helen Hayes, 1981
Commodore Grace Murray Hopper, 1984
Leontyne Price, 1985
Mary Leakey, 1986
Sandra Day O’Connor, 1987
Dr. Mary Ashby Cheek, 1987
Hanna Holborn Grey, 1988
Gwendolyn Brooks, 1991
Georgie Anne Geyer, 1992
Lynn Morley Martin, 1996
Beverly Sills, 2002
Jane Alexander, 2004
Anne Sofie von Otter, 2004
Jean Bethke Elshtain, 2005
Twyla Tharp, 2006
Mary Robinson, 2007
Tammy Duckworth, 2020
Dr. Ngozi O. Ezike, 2021