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Created to honor Sen. William H. Benton on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as chairman and publisher of Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Benton Award recognizes persons who have rendered distinguished public service in the field of education.
The committee considers eligible recipients to include not only teachers but also educational administrators, museum directors, librarians, officers of learned societies, foundation executives, philanthropists, broadcasters, and publishers - that is, anyone who has contributed in a systematic and distinguished way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge.
Nominations for the Benton Award are submitted and voted on by several faculty ruling bodies. The recipient of the Benton Award for Distinguished Public Service will be invited to campus the following academic year for the Benton Lecture Residency. Activities during the Benton Lecture Residency might include a workshop, public lecture, or master class, along with meetings and interactions with students and faculty.