Uncertain Future for GSA Gold Medals
|GSA Gold Medals.
Left to right: Penrose, Donath, Day.
[ more about these awards ]
What can you do to help?
|Please make a donation to the Penrose Medal, Day Medal, or Medals & Awards funds through the GSA Foundation Web site.|
The three highest awards the Geological Society of America presents each year are the Penrose, Day, and Donath (Young Scientist Award) Medals. All three medals are 2.25 inches in diameter and have traditionally been made of 14-karat solid gold. We are now challenged by the fact that the price of gold has far-outstripped the ability of the Penrose and Day medal funds to provide the financial resources to fully cover the costs of producing those medals. At the time of this writing, each gold medal costs about US$6,000.
Fred Donath continues to fully support the cost of the gold Donath Medal, but to maintain the tradition of presenting the Penrose and Day 14-karat-gold medals every year, an endowment of more than US$150,000 for each medal is needed. Currently, there is only about US$30,000 between the two funds.
The Day bequest specifies the gold content and size of the medal. Legal opinion states that we cannot change the bequest.
The Penrose bequest allows the freedom to change the composition and size of the medal. For Denver 2010, GSA Council has approved changing the Penrose Medal to a gold-plated silver medal. The Day and Donath medals will remain solid gold.
What choices does the Society have in order to continue presenting these prestigious medals?
- Raise at least US$270,000 to endow both the Penrose and Day medal funds.
- Use Society operating funds to make up the difference. For fiscal year 2011, that would be about US$11,000.
- Change the Penrose Medal to 24-karat-gold–plated silver. Approximate cost: US$1,000.
- Only present the medals when there are enough funds to pay for them, knowing that this will create large gaps in the presentation of both medals.
2009-2010 GSA President
GSA Executive Director