Glenn, Queen Noor, Nichols, Dove and Cooper Win 2006 Common Wealth Awards - Five world-renowned achievers honored for their contributions to society (U.S.A)

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan wins the 2006 Common Wealth Award for Public Service. Queen Noor is internationally recognized for her tireless efforts to address global peace-building, human rights and conflict recovery issues. She has leadership roles with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Landmine Survivors Network.


WILMINGTON, Del., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Five leaders and achievers in the arts and public service will be honored tonight with the 27th annual Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service. These prestigious awards are presented annually to people who have enriched and improved the world through their exceptional lifetime achievements.

The honorees will receive a shared prize of $250,000 at the Common Wealth Awards celebration held here at the DuPont Theatre.

The Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service were first presented in 1979 by the Common Wealth Trust, created under the will of the late Ralph Hayes, an influential business executive and philanthropist. Hayes conceived the awards to reward and encourage the best of human performance worldwide. With the 2006 presentation, the awards will have conferred more than $3.5 million in prize money to 157 honorees of international renown. The awards are funded by the Common Wealth Trust.

The final selection of the honorees is the decision of the Executory of the Common Wealth Trust. PNC Bank, Delaware has been trustee and administrator for the Common Wealth Awards since their inception. PNC Bank, Delaware is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) .

"The 2006 Common Wealth Award winners represent the spectrum of human endeavors and the finest of human achievement," said Connie Bond Stuart, chairman, president and CEO of PNC Bank, Delaware. "They are leaders, innovators and artists who have used their special talents to make a difference in our world. We applaud these remarkable individuals for their accomplishments, and we honor Ralph Hayes for the inspired legacy he created in the Common Wealth Awards."

Hayes served on the board of directors of PNC Bank, Delaware's predecessor banks from 1943 to 1965. Through the Common Wealth Awards, he sought to recognize outstanding achievement in seven disciplines: dramatic arts, literature, science and invention, mass communications, public service, government, and sociology. The awards also provide an incentive for people to make future contributions to the world community.

The roster of past honorees reveals the caliber of talent and the global scope of the honorees and their achievements. Among the past winners are 11 Nobel laureates, including human rights leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former statesman Henry Kissinger and author Toni Morrison. Other winners include former Secretary of State Colin Powell; children's television icon, the late Fred Rogers; Broadway choreographer Susan Stroman; primatologist Jane Goodall; ocean explorer Robert Ballard; actress Meryl Streep and television journalist Walter Cronkite.

"The 2006 winners continue the tradition of excellence and leadership symbolized by the Common Wealth Awards," said PNC's Stuart.

John Glenn, 84, wins the 2006 Common Wealth Award for Government. Glenn is an American hero, esteemed for a remarkable lifetime dedicated to military aviation, space exploration and service to his country. He is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as a combat pilot in World War II and the Korean War. He made history as the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, and later, at 77 years old, as the oldest person to ever fly in space. Glenn further distinguished himself as an American political leader, serving 24 years as the U.S. Senator from Ohio.

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, 54, wins the 2006 Common Wealth Award for Public Service. Queen Noor is internationally recognized for her tireless efforts to address global peace-building, human rights and conflict recovery issues. For more than 25 years, she has devoted herself to initiatives concerning women and children's welfare, education, the arts and culture, community development, environmental protection, refugees and disarmament. She has leadership roles with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Landmine Survivors Network. Queen Noor chairs the King Hussein Foundation dedicated to furthering her late husband's commitment to peace, cross-cultural understanding and the advancement of democracy.

Mike Nichols, 74, wins the 2006 Common Wealth Award for Dramatic Arts. Nichols has been one of the foremost directors of stage and screen for more than 30 years. His Broadway directing credits include hits such as Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple and Plaza Suite. Nichols has directed standout movies including, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, which earned him an Oscar for Best Director, Carnal Knowledge and Silkwood. His television credits include the award-winning HBO productions of Wit and Angels in America. In 2005, Nichols earned his eighth lifetime Tony Award as director of the smash musical, Spamalot.

Rita Dove, 53, wins the 2006 Common Wealth Award for Literature. Dove is one of America's leading and most honored contemporary poets, renowned for the diversity and creative range of her work. She served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995, the youngest person and first African American to hold the post. Her celebrated works include The Yellow House on the Corner, Thomas and Beulah, which received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, and her latest poetry collection, American Smooth. Dove is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

Anderson Cooper, 38, wins the Common Wealth Award for Mass Communications. Cooper is a rising star of broadcast news. As the host of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, an unconventional, wide-ranging news program, he is the leading voice of a new generation of journalists. He has anchored major breaking news stories, most recently the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. Before joining CNN, he was an ABC News correspondent. Cooper has won several awards for his work, including a National Headliners Award for his tsunami coverage and an Emmy Award for his contribution to ABC's coverage of Princess Diana's funeral.

Von: 01.04.06

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