The Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Awards were presented last November 8th at a gala event held at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. The Award honors Americans and individuals from around the world for outstanding lifetime accomplishments in the field of philately. The achievements can include original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately and postal history, exceptional service to the philatelic community, and the overall promotion of philately for the benefit of current and future collectors. The recipients for 2008 are Wallace Cleland, Bernard “Bud” Hennig and Gordon Morison. Wallace Cleland and Gordon Morison are long-time USSS members.
To honor this prestigious award and its recipients, Dr. G. Wayne Clough, Smithsonian Institution Secretary, gave remarks and thanks for the contributions to the hobby and the museum. Later in the evening, the awards were presented by Dr. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary of History, Art, and Culture for the Smithsonian Institution; Mr. Don Sundman, Council of Philatelist Chair and President of the Mystic Stamp Company; and Mr. Paul Carlin, the 66th Postmaster General. Mr. Omar Rodriguez, a well-known actor and philatelist, hosted the evening’s festivities. This year’s guests included members of the Club de Monte-Carlo, who displayed some of their philatelic rarities for the gala. This special collection is exhibited in the Stamps and Coins Museum of Monaco and had never before been exhibited in the United States.