George to receive liberal arts award

Sept. 23, 2005, 10:11 a.m.

Robert George, a political and legal scholar at Princeton, has been named the first recipient of the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education.

George will be presented with the award on Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C., by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit organization whose members include thousands of education leaders, alumni and trustees from colleges and universities nationwide.

The award was established to honor "individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of liberal arts education, core curricula and the teaching of Western civilization and American history," according to an ACTA news release announcing the award.

"Professor George is an expert on the natural law tradition in moral and constitutional philosophy, and his books and articles have shaped the debate in this field," the award announcement noted.

George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, is the author of "The Clash of Orthodoxies" (2002), "In Defense of Natural Law" (1999) and "Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality" (1993). He also has edited several other books.

George is a member of President Bush's bioethics council, a former presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has been a judicial fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The award is named in honor of Merrill, the chairman and publisher of the Washingtonian magazine, who also has served as an assistant secretary-general of NATO, a special assistant to the deputy secretary of state and a member of the Department of Defense Policy Board. In 1988, he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Service, the highest civilian honor given by the Department of Defense.