The Niebuhr Medal

The College’s Highest Honor

The Niebuhr Medal recognizes extraordinary service to humanity that reflects the values of Elmhurst graduates Reinhold 1910 and H. Richard Niebuhr 1912, two of the 20th century’s most influential theologians.

The Medal was first awarded on April 2, 1995, to Elie Wiesel. An acclaimed author and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace, Wiesel was a Nazi death-camp survivor.

Past Recipients

  • Joseph L. Bernardin, cardinal archbishop of Chicago
  • Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund
  • Lech Walesa, the first democratically elected president of Poland
  • Millard and Linda Fuller, co-founders of Habitat for Humanity International
  • Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a distinguished historian and presidential adviser
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez, an internationally renowned theologian known as “the father of Liberation Theology”
  • The Reverend Walter Brueggemann ’55, widely known as the foremost Christian scholar of the Hebrew Bible

Recipients are selected by the College’s Board of Trustees or its Executive Committee.

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