American Spirit Awards

American Spirit Awards

June 17–18, 2021
presented by Hancock Whitney
with support from Todd Ricketts & Sylvie Légère
FREEPORT-MCMORAN
THE RICHARD ADKERSON FAMILY FOUNDATION

The National WWII Museum views the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and the national community as our highest priority. Due to the uncertain nature of the Coronavirus outbreak, the 2021 American Spirit Awards will be tentatively postponed to June 17–18, 2021. Tickets already purchased will be transferred to the rescheduled date, and tickets for the June event are now available for purchase online.

American Spirit Awards

The American Spirit Awards is an awards gala celebrating individuals and organizations whose work reflects the values and spirit of those who served our country during the World War II years. We honor those who inspire others through their own acts of courage, sacrifice, initiative and generosity—particularly in the areas of leadership, service to country or community and education. 

Event Schedule

Thursday, June 17, 2021 – American Spirit Awards Patron Reception

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

VIP guests from across the country are invited to experience a taste of New Orleans at the American Spirit Awards Patron reception. The champagne and Sazeracs will flow as we join the Museum’s Board of Trustees to toast the 2021 American Spirit and Silver Service Medallion recipients while enjoying traditional New Orleans jazz.

Friday, June 18, 2021 – American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

 

Leading through example is a hallmark of the Museum’s honorees, and at the American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum, each will answer questions from the Billy Michal Student Leaders—51 students representing every state and the District of Columbia—offering motivating advice to these young leaders of the future.

Friday, June 18, 2021 – American Spirit Awards Gala

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

 

The high point of the weekend will be the presentation of the American Spirit Award at an elegant black-tie gala in the Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception before being seated for the American Spirit Awards Gala for a night of inspiration featuring a savory three-course meal and presentation of the Museum’s highest honor to deserving Americans who inspire greatness in all of us.

American Spirit Award

 

The American Spirit Award recognizes an individual who best exemplifies the outstanding qualities of the American spirit, including teamwork, optimism, courage, and sacrifice, and who inspires the exploration and expression of these values through their own life and work. The award recognizes those who demonstrate through word and deed an extraordinary dedication to the enduring principles that strengthen America's freedom and democracy. The award also recognizes those who make unselfish contributions to their community, state, or nation; those who lead by example; and those who exhibit the highest standards of integrity, discipline, and initiative.

 

2021 American Spirit Award Recipients

MAJOR RICHARD L. DUCHOSSOIS USA, (Ret.)

Photo Credit: Linda M. Barrett, photographer.

WWII veteran, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Richard Duchossois served in five European campaigns during the war—receiving the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the French Legion of Honor in recognition of his combat duties with the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion. A member of The National WWII Museum’s Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2019, Duchossois is an accomplished business executive known for his revival of the Arlington Park racetrack in Chicago and the production of “Arlington Million” race just weeks following the track’s disastrous fire in 1985.

HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., PHD

Through his work as an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, celebrated Harvard University professor, literary scholar, journalist, and cultural critic, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has dedicated his career to lifting up African American voices to more deeply inform the story of the American experience. Gates has authored 24 books, created 21 documentary films, serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, and hosts the groundbreaking genealogy series Finding Your Roots on PBS.

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PHD

Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz, photographer.

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is widely known and respected for her New York Times #1 best-selling books exploring how presidential leadership has shaped our country—from her Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; The Home Front in World War II to the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln to her latest Leadership in Turbulent Times. As a frequent contributor to documentaries and TV programs, Goodwin provides historical context on current events and shares leadership lessons from our nation’s history.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, PHD

Through his definitive account of the deadliest conflict in human history, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has provided new insights on the events of World War II and how they continue to impact our world today. One of America’s preeminent military historians and recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Hanson serves as the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and has written or edited 24 books along with hundreds of articles, book reviews, editorials, and essays on Greek, agrarian, and military history and contemporary culture.

THE HONORABLE HENRY A. KISSINGER

Photo Credit: Jürgen Frank, photographer.

After escaping Nazi Germany and the horrors of the Holocaust, the Honorable Henry A. Kissinger arrived in the United States as a refugee, became a naturalized US citizen, and joined the US Army in 1943—serving in the 84th Infantry Division and volunteering for hazardous duties during the Battle of the Bulge before being reassigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps. A recipient of the Bronze Star, Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Medal of Liberty, Kissinger helped shape US foreign policy and advance democracy as the 56th Secretary of State and a national security advisor for Presidents Nixon and Reagan.

American Spirit Medallion Recipients

 

Since its beginning as The National D-Day Museum, the Museum has bestowed this award upon individuals who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to the principles that strengthen America’s freedom and democracy. Through their work and philanthropy, American Spirit Medallion recipients exemplify the highest standards of integrity, discipline, and initiative while making unselfish contributions to their community, state, or nation.

2021 American Spirit Medallion Recipients

CAPTAIN DANIEL K. FORDICE III, USA (RET.)

An avid aviator who served in the US Army and Mississippi National Guard, Dan Fordice has flown vintage WWII aircraft across the world, including the C-47 That’s All Brother from the D-Day invasion, and is the founder of two nonprofits that honor veterans and active-duty servicemembers.

KATHERINE JOHNSON, POSTHUMOUSLY (1918-2020)

Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz, photographer.

As one of the first African American women to work for NASA as a mathematician, Katherine Johnson provided critical calculations to ensure the success of several historic US space missions from 1953 to 1986, serving as an inspiration to generations of Americans.

Anne Levy

A Holocaust survivor who escaped to America from the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland, Anne Levy has served as an educator and activist, confronting Holocaust deniers, standing up to prejudice, and also dedicating her time as a longtime volunteer at The National WWII Museum.

Major General Angela Salinas, USMC (Ret.)

A woman of many firsts, Major General Angela Salinas broke ground as the first Latina promoted to General officer ranks in the US Marine Corps, the first woman to command a Marine Corps Recruit Depot, and now serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.

SILVER SERVICE MEDALLION RECIPIENTS

 

The president of The National WWII Museum awards the Silver Service Medallion to veterans and those with a direct connection to World War II who have served our country with distinction and continue to lead by example.

2021 Silver Service Medallion Recipients

Major John H. “Lucky” Luckadoo, USAF (Ret.)

Assigned to the 100th Bomb Group, the “Bloody Hundredth,” Major John Luckadoo served as a B-17 bomb pilot and Squadron Operations Officer with the Eighth Air Force. Today, the French Legion of Honor recipient continues to share his WWII experiences as he works to establish a national holiday for Home Front heroes.

LIEUTENANT ROSE BAYUK, USANC (RET.), POSTHUMOUSLY (1915-2021)

While serving with the Army Nurse Corps from 1942 to 1946, Lieutenant Rose Bayuk cared for soldiers on numerous transatlantic voyages aboard the hospital ship USAHS Thistle. After the war, she continued to advance her nursing career in Minnesota and, upon retirement, volunteered as an American Red Cross nurse.

WO1 JOHNNIE A. JONES, SR., USA (RET.)

Recipient of the French Legion of Honor Award, Warrant Officer Johnnie Jones Sr. served with the 494th Quartermaster Port Battalion, landing on Omaha Beach as part of the third wave on D-Day, before returning to Louisiana, where he earned a law degree and had a distinguished six-decade career as a civil rights attorney.

THE BILLY MICHAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD


The Billy Michal Student Leadership Award, given annually to one student from each state and the District of Columbia who demonstrates the American Spirit in his or her community. The values of leadership, teamwork, tolerance, creativity and perseverance can and should be learned and lived by all Americans regardless of age. When six-year-old Billy Michal from Zimmerman, Louisiana, helped his one-room school win a statewide scrap metal collection contest during World War II, he understood that every citizen—no matter how small—could contribute to our victory in the war. His example, and the actions of millions of other students on the Home Front, reminds us that service to country and community helps create active, engaged citizens. Through this award, the Museum promotes these values to students nationwide and honors those who exemplify them.

The Museum is currently taking nominations from across the country for these awards. Nominees should have a strong record of volunteerism, school and/or community activism, or implementing creative solutions to recognized problems. Selected awardees will engage in a virtual leadership program during the week of June 7-11, 2021 as well as participate in the Museum's American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum on June 18, 2021. Student leaders will:

  • Participate in the Billy Michal Student Leadership Week with 3 live leadership sessions. Meet WWII Historians, learn about leadership skills, and virtually share ideas with their co-awardees from across the country.
  • Participate in a Q&A session with the American Spirit Award recipients.
  • Participate in leadership-building activities.
  • Be featured on the Museum’s American Spirit Award website.
  • Receive recognition during the American Spirit Awards Luncheon and participate as a virtual attendee.
  • Be a representative of their state during American Spirit Awards.

Learn more about past Billy Michal Student Leadership Award recipients.


Help us select the recipients of the 2021 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award


Do you know a student in 8th to 12th grade from your state who demonstrates the values of leadership, teamwork, tolerance, creativity, and perseverance with a strong record for volunteerism, activism, or implementing creative solutions to recognized problems? Nominate them for the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award.

Nominate

Nominations must be received by Monday, February 15, 2021.

Nomination criteria: Nominees currently must be from 8th to 12th grade; only individual students can be nominated, not groups; students may be in public, private, parochial, or home school in the United States; awardees will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to making a positive contribution to their school, community, country, and/or the world; only fully completed nominations will be eligible for consideration.

Featured Chef

Featured Chef

Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 10 restaurants, including five in New Orleans, and a bestselling author of 19 cookbooks. As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America." In 2013, Lagasse was named the Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for his dedicated efforts to further the culinary arts in America, as well as his philanthropic work supporting children’s educational programs through his Foundation, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, which he established in 2002. In January 2019, Lagasse launched We Love Food Hospitality, which consults with both existing and new concept restaurants on menu development, culinary training, and other restaurant operations.

Lagasse's restaurant company, Emeril's Homebase, is located in New Orleans and houses culinary operations and a test kitchen for recipe development. For more information visit emerilsrestaurants.com.

TABLE SPONSOR LEVELS & TICKET PRICING

EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION BENEFITS

 

American Spirit Awards Sponsors and Patrons are recognized on all printed materials, including event invitation, event program, event web page, the 2021 Annual Donor Wall and Annual Report.

 

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

$30,000.00 Veteran Sponsor

**Ten (10) tickets purchased for American Spirit Awards plus a donation to allow a veteran and his/her guest to attend American Spirit Awards (2 tickets)

Sponsor package includes: 

  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Photo opportunity for two (2) couples (purchaser) at the 2021 American Spirit Awards Gala with inclusion in post-event marketing materials (when available)
  • ¼-page ad in the American Spirit Awards program with personalized editorial tribute to a veteran of the purchaser’s choosing

** Tickets supported by Veteran Sponsors will be allocated to local veteran organizations.

Purchase Tickets

$30,000.00 Friend of Awardee

Ten (10) tickets purchased for American Spirit Awards 

Sponsor package includes: 

  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Photo opportunity for two (2) couples at the 2021 American Spirit Awards Gala with inclusion in post-event marketing materials (when available)
  • ¼-page ad in the American Spirit Awards program with personalized editorial tribute to your desired awardee

Purchase Tickets

$25,000.00 Supporter

Ten (10) tickets purchased for American Spirit Awards

Sponsor package includes: 

  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Photo opportunity for two (2) couples at the 2021 American Spirit Awards Gala with inclusion in post-event marketing materials (when available)
  • 2022 Normandy Academy Scholar Sponsor

Purchase Tickets

$20,000.00 Benefactor

Ten (10) tickets purchased for American Spirit Awards 

Sponsor package includes: 

  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Admittance to the American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • Photo opportunity for one (1) couple at the 2021 American Spirit Awards Gala with inclusion in post-event marketing materials (when available)
  • 2022 Summer Residential Program Scholar Sponsor

Purchase Tickets

$15,000.00 Friend

Ten (10) tickets purchased for American Spirit Awards

 Includes admittance to:

  • The American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)

Purchase Tickets

$2,500 Veteran Supporter

**Donation to allow a WWII Veteran and one guest to attend American Spirit Awards 

Includes admittance to: 

  • The American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)

** Tickets supported by Veteran Supporters will be allocated to local veteran organizations.

Purchase Tickets

PATRON OPPORTUNITIES

$1,500 Individual Patron Ticket

Includes admittance to: 

  • The American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)

Purchase Tickets


$1000 Member Patron Ticket

ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED

Includes admittance to: 

  • The American Spirit Awards Patron Reception (Thursday, June 17, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Luncheon and Leadership Forum (Friday, June 18, 2021)
  • The American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)

Purchase Tickets


$750 Individual Gala Ticket

Includes admittance to The American Spirit Awards Gala (Friday, June 18, 2021)

Purchase Tickets


DONOR OPPORTUNITY

I am unable to attend, but wish to make a contribution on behalf of the American Spirit Awards education fund.

Purchase Tickets

Proceeds from the American Spirit Awards will support educational programming at The National WWII Museum—including the ongoing development of classroom materials and professional-development opportunities for teachers in schools across the country, as well as online experiences that bring the Museum and its resources to students around the world.

For more information, contact our Fundraising Events staff at 504-528-1944 x 334 or email Ellen.Buckley@nationalww2museum.org.

2021 AMERICAN SPIRIT AWARDS SPONSORS

American Spirit Awards Presenting Sponsor

 

Supporting Sponsor

Todd Ricketts and Sylvie Légère
Freeport-McMoRan
The Richard Adkerson Family Foundation

Travel Partner

American Airlines 

20th Anniversary Sponsor

In Honor of Richard L. Duchossois from His Loving Children

Friend of Awardee Sponsor

Madlyn and Paul Hilliard in Honor of Richard L. Duchossois

Event Production Sponsor

Solomon Group

Supporters

AIRBUS
Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation
Tom and Kathy Lanctot

Benefactor

AT&T

Friends

Latter & Blum Inc.
Priddy Family Foundation
Julie and Wyatt Rockefeller
Kathy and Joe Sanderson
Christina and Terry Schopfer
Mr. Robert V. Siebel
Vernon Brinson Charitable Fund

Veteran Supporters

Mr. William C. Buck
Sue and Rusty Burnett
Len & Fleur Harlan in Honor of David Nierenberg and The Magnificent Seven
Mr. Hershel W. Williams

Patrons

Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C.
Senator Bob Dole
Rear Admiral and Mrs. Philip A. Dur USN (Ret.)
John and Nikki Elmendorf
Duane Helwig
Joey and Maggie Kellum
Tom Martin
Rob McAdams
Phylway Construction LLC in Honor of Dan Fordice
Ed Tatum and Darla Roark
Jack York


The medallions for the American Spirit Awards honorees were provided by Bennett Awards