Past Churchill Bell honorees
Jim Lehrer, nationally respected as an objective and insightful journalist of the highest integrity, is executive editor and anchor of the award-winning NewsHour on PBS. Moderator of 11 presidential debates, he has encouraged informed public discussion of democratic values, including venues such as the Dialogues in Democracy series and the World Forum on the Future of Democracy convened in Williamsburg. He served on the Colonial Williamsburg Board of Trustees for 13 years and has chaired Colonial Williamsburg's Raleigh Tavern Society for more than a decade.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for nearly two decades, the first woman to assume that responsibility. She was a trustee of Colonial Williamsburg for 12 years and an influential voice on the quality of the Williamsburg experience for families of multiple generations. She is currently the Chancellor of the College of William and Mary and is a leader of the national movement to encourage civic engagement in the nation's schools.
Gordon Wood is a distinguished American historian and professor emeritus at Brown University. He has received extraordinary recognition for his work, including the Bancroft Prize for The Creation of the American Republic, 1776â€“1787 and the Pulitzer Prize for The Radicalism of the American Revolution. His newest book, Empire of Liberty, was a Pulitzer finalist this year and has received extraordinary reviews. A trustee of Colonial Williamsburg for 12 years, prolific author, and passionate teacher, he has been particularly supportive of Colonial Williamsburg's educational outreach activities and has graciously responded to numerous requests to speak and participate at Colonial Williamsburg events and as a Foundation representative.
Ann Lee Brown and the late Charles L. Brown
Ann Lee Brown and Charles L. Brown, former chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Board of Trustees, were instrumental in endorsing groundbreaking African American interpretive programs and advocated for more hands-on educational programs in the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg and for improved history teaching.
Marion and Bob Wilson
Education and young people, in this country and abroad, have always been Marion and Bob Wilson's passion. For 30 years, the California natives helped sustain, through fundraising and personal generosity, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, attended by 6,600 teachers since 1990.
Gretchen and Bill Kimball
Gretchen and Bill Kimball's lifetime of business success and civic engagement included a special emphasis on philanthropy. Their generosity to Colonial Williamsburg restored and transformed the Merchants Square Williamsburg Theatre, renamed the Kimball Theatre in their honor. When they established the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund, it was recognized as one of the largest gifts ever awarded for youth history education.
June and Joe Hennage
June and Joe Hennage immersed themselves in the study and collection of 18th-century fine arts and decorative arts. By preserving both for Colonial Williamsburg, June and Joe guaranteed that future generations will enjoy the benefits of this collection and the finest traditions of early American craftsmanship at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
Ambassador Walter Annenberg and Leonore (Lee) Annenberg
Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wife, Leonore (Lee) Annenberg, were honored for their spirit of philanthropy and public service. Their steadfast and generous support enhanced The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and its Bruton Heights Education Center as well as a nationwide network of museums, public and private schools, and universities.
George V. Grune and Employees of the Reader's Digest Association
The chairman and chief executive officer of the Reader's Digest Association George V. Grune and the employees of the Reader's Digest Association were recognized for their publishing success and corporate support of Colonial Williamsburg. It is an important link to the legacy of Reader's Digest founders Lila and DeWitt Wallace whose lasting generosity supports programs and exhibitions at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, the Wallace Collections and Conservation Building, and the Foundation's Productions, Publications, and Learning Ventures division.
Abby O'Neill and the members of the Rockefeller family
Abby O'Neill served on the Colonial Williamsburg Board of Trustees for nearly three decades, including a term as vice chairman. As the eldest grandchild of founder John D. Rockefeller Jr., Abby O'Neill and her husband, fellow trustee George O'Neill, carried on the family's tradition of distinguished leadership, service, and philanthropy.