Medill renames Medal for Courage after James Foley

Tyler Pager, Breaking News Editor

The Medill Medal for Courage will be renamed the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in honor of the slain journalist, the school’s board of advisers announced Monday.

The medal, which was first awarded in 2003, recognizes journalists who display moral, ethical or physical courage in pursuit of a story.

Foley (Medill ’08) was executed by the Islamic State group in August after spending almost two years in captivity. Prior to his capture, he worked as a freelance journalist for GlobalPost in Syria.

At Northwestern’s memorial service for Foley on Nov. 20, the board of advisers announced Foley would receive the medal posthumously along with the 2013 winner Matthieu Aikins, who was recognized for his work in Rolling Stone magazine.

However, after the board of advisers met that weekend, it voted to rename the medal after Foley. He will also be recognized as a 2013 recipient of the award.

“He was absolutely determined to tell the truth about the dangerous places that he went to,” said Dick Stolley (Medill ’52, ’53), a member of the board of advisers. “His compulsion to report the truth, to me and I think to all of us on the board, is an ethical contribution to the physical courage he showed.”

The award ceremony for Aikins will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the McCormick Foundation Center Forum.

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