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TFAS Honors Outstanding Leaders During U.S. Summer Programs


A key element of the TFAS summer programs is the opportunity that students have to hear from and network with outstanding professionals.

Each summer TFAS hosts four awards ceremonies that celebrate leaders in the fields of journalism, politics, philanthropy, economics and business. Students attend these ceremonies to interact with industry experts, TFAS alumni and other local professionals.


TFAS presented awards to outstanding journalists during its 20th annual Journalism Awards Ceremony luncheon at the National Press Club on June 19. Guests included TFAS alumni, donors and more than 50 students in the Institute on Political Journalism program.

IPJ Awards Recipients-2015
PJ Awards Recipients (l.-r.) Mark Puente, Maria Walker Guevara and Emma Jerzyk pose for a photo with their awards.

The ceremony was held in conjunction with the TFAS 48th Anniversary Annual Conference. The annual awards are presented to journalists who best exemplify objective, economic and investigative reporting.

The 2015 Excellence in Economic Reporting Award was presented to The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for their groundbreaking series “Offshore Secrets.” The multi-part investigation into tax havens rocked two of the modern world’s greatest powers – China and the European Union – and helped bring about new laws and policy changes in 52 countries.

The 2015 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting was awarded to reporterMark Puente of the Baltimore Sun for his hard-hitting series “Undue Force.” Published last fall, Puente’s investigation of alleged brutality by Baltimore city police was the first news report to reveal the scope of the problem. Puente reported that since 2011, the city paid out $5.7 million in more than a hundred civil suits alleging brutality and other misconduct.

The 2015 Collegiate Journalism Award was given to Emma Jerzyk of The Brown Daily Herald. The second place winner was Cat Zakrzewski of The Daily Northwestern.

During the luncheon, each recipient gave insightful remarks on their award winning stories and what it means to be a journalist.

Maria Walker Guevara
Maria Walker Guevara, deputy director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists speaks about their groundbreaking series “Offshore Secrets” at the IPJ Awards luncheon.

Jerzyk reflected on the most important qualities of a journalist during her acceptance remarks.

“Being a journalist makes you a storyteller,” Jerzyk said. “You find meaning in events and you help people make sense of the world around them.”

Jerzyk reminded the young journalists in the room to let empathy fuel their passion for the stories they tell.

“You are strong and powerful,” Jerzyk said. “You are working with, explaining and defining people who are just like you. Being a journalist is hard, but being a good journalist is harder.”

To learn more about the Institute on Political Journalism Awards, visit www.TFAS.org/IPJAwards.



On July 8, TFAS awarded U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona with the 2015 Walter Judd Freedom Award for his lifetime of service to advancing the cause of freedom.

Sen. John McCain gives his acceptance remarks at the 2015 Walter Judd Freedom Award Reception.

TFAS Vice Chairman Michael Thompson was honored to present McCain with the award, remarking on the senator’s leadership and courage as both a congressman and a prisoner of war.

“Sen. John McCain is a true American hero,” Thompson said. “He’s a man who not only has gone through all he’s gone through, but he’s in a position to truly impact policy and truly impact where America is heading.”

Established in 1993, the Walter Judd Freedom award recognizes individuals who have devoted their lives to the preservation and expansion of freedom and been outspoken voices against tyranny and oppression. These are the values of Dr. Walter Judd, a former U.S. congressman and missionary, whose courage, spirit and oratory inspired thousands of people worldwide throughout his seven decades in public service.

Former recipients of the award include: President Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Jr., Mary Anastasia O’Grady, The Honorable Jack Kemp, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf and Harry Wu.

For a full list of award recipients and to learn more about the Walter Judd Freedom Award, visit www.TFAS.org/JuddFreedomAward.



Every year, TFAS students in the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS) support a local nonprofit through fundraising projects to learn more about nonprofits and philanthropic giving put into practice.

This year, IPVS students selected a local nonprofitFAIR Girls as the 2015 Grant Award recipient. FAIR Girls was founded to empower girls in the U.S. and around the world who have been forgotten, exploited or otherwise are at-risk of not reaching their potential. During the luncheon ceremony at Clyde’s of Gallery Place on July 21, IPVS students presented FAIR Girls with the $2,680 they raised this summer.

Members of the IPVS grant committee present their fundraising total.
Members of the IPVS grant committee present their fundraising total.

At the luncheon, TFAS also honored Whitney L. Ball, president and chief executive officer of DonorsTrust, with the David R. Jones Leadership in Voluntary Service Award. Named in honor of TFAS co-founder and former president David Jones, this award is given to an individual who promotes the American traditions of philanthropy, free enterprise and individual responsibility.

Sadly, Ball passed away on Sunday, Aug. 16, just a few weeks after the awards luncheon. Although her health prevented her from attending the ceremony, many people were on hand to celebrate Ball’s accomplishments and passion for both liberty and philanthropy.

During the ceremony, TFAS President Roger Ream spoke on Ball’s strong principles and outstanding leadership in the philanthropic community.

“Whitney’s leadership of DonorsTrust has been remarkable, building it into a successful vehicle that enables donors to enhance their charitable giving in support of private initiative to alleviate society’s most pressing needs,” Ream said. “She has a deep commitment to the values that have made the independent sector in the U.S. the model for the rest of the world. She has been a courageous fighter for these values in her professional life, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to personal integrity, humility and heartfelt compassion.”

Later on in the ceremony, Ball’s colleague Peter Lipsett, marketing director at DonorsTrust, accepted the David R. Jones Award on Ball’s behalf.

“Whitney always wants to leave things and people better than they are,” Lipsett said. “She is one of too few people who has truly internalized the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats…that the more we work together in cooperation, the more we can actually accomplish.”

To learn more about the David R. Jones Awards, visit www.TFAS.org/DRJAwards.


Thanks to the generous support of dinner sponsors, more than $200,000 was raised for TFAS student scholarships during the 2015 Congressional Scholarship Awards Dinner (CSAD) on July 22. More than 300 TFAS students, alumni, donors and friends attended the dinner at the Four Seasons of Georgetown to honor our award recipients and student achievements.

The evening’s distinguished guests were Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and The Honorable John Engler, former governor of Michigan and president of the Business Roundtable. Each was presented with a 2015 Congressional Scholarship Award for their leadership and contributions to our nation and its young people.

Members of the TFAS board of trustees and the dinner committee gave presentation remarks for each of the honorees.

Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association and CSAD dinner committee member, reminded guests of the importance of who they are supporting during her presentation.

“Tonight is the night we find our inner intern,” Duggan said. “This is the night where we remember what it is like to get our first opportunity in Washington and to learn from other people.”

Following the awards presentation, the recipients took the stage to participate in a question and answer session moderated by Richard Benedetto, TFAS professor and retired USA Today White House correspondent and columnist.

The recipients engaged in a lively discussion on the importance of bipartisanship and working across the aisle in business and government.

To learn more about the Congressional Scholarship Awards Dinner, visit www.TFAS.org/CSAD


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