The National Constitution Center honored acclaimed journalist Judy Woodruff and patriotic philanthropist and business leader David Rubenstein with the 35th annual Liberty Medal in a ceremony on October 27, 2023.
Woodruff and Rubenstein were awarded the medal for their inspiring work in modeling and promoting civil dialogue about the shared values of liberty that unite Americans. The ceremony featured a conversation between Woodruff, Rubenstein, and National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
“As someone who has reported on American politics across this country for more than 50 years, and who has seen the collapse of so much of the journalism infrastructure I too long took for granted, I am more certain than ever that our democracy depends on, indeed is built on, the foundation of a free, robust and vigilant press,” said Woodruff upon receiving the Liberty Medal. “We look around the world and see most countries don’t have what we have. But our founding fathers recognized it, the men who wrote the Constitution, and there’s no better time than now to re-dedicate ourselves to fulfilling the vision they laid out, here, in this city, near this place.”
“I accept this award on behalf of the high school teachers, the civics teachers and people who are preserving documents, preserving buildings, working in the park service, and doing other things to make sure that Americans know as much about our history as possible,” said Rubenstein upon accepting the Liberty Medal. “I’m really their representative here tonight. While I’m honored to get the award, I really think I’m accepting it for people who are engaged in educating Americans about our history so hopefully we can have a more informed citizenry.”
Established in Philadelphia in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Medal was first administered by the National Constitution Center in 2006, honoring men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.
The Liberty Medal’s roster of recipients includes many of the men, women, and organizations that have shaped and guided the world through the past three decades, including Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Nelson Mandela, Sandra Day O’Connor, Kofi Annan, Malala Yousafzai, and Colin Powell. Capturing the attention of millions every year, the Liberty Medal is a tribute to citizenship and America’s constitutional ideals.