The ceremony kicked off with a spectacular red carpet welcome for the students, who were accompanied by their family members and their adult sponsors who guided them throughout the contest.
As the students entered the Museum, former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford rang the NLM Liberty Bell to start the ceremony. Senator Wofford was an original Selma marcher and adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr.
NLM CEO Gwen Borowsky then welcomed the Girard College Cavalier Band & Choir (directed by former Teacher as Hero winner, Paul Eaton). The students set an inspirational tone for the day with their moving rendition of “Glory.” Next, guests watched special remarks from SELMA actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay.
The ceremony was hosted by KYW news reporter Cherri Gregg, who welcomed Senator Wofford to speak about his experience in Selma, as well as his work with Dr. King. Senator Wofford went on to tell the students what an inspiration they are: “Mr. Armas, Mr. Lehmann, and Miss White-Thorpe, you have used your voices to speak about individual freedom and self-determination in a way that would have made Dr. King proud.”
Cherri Gregg explained to the audience that while the students knew they were in the top three, none of them knew what place they had actually won. Ms. Gregg then invited each student to the stage, where they shared their inspiration and gave their speeches. Before making the big announcement, the students were surprised with recorded messages of support and congratulations from their schools. Then, it was finally time to learn who would be taking home the grand prize of $5,000. Edan Armas was named the third place winner, and then came the biggest surprise of the day – Gwen Borowsky announced that Evan and Ifeoma tied for first place! Each student scored identically to one hundredth of a point!
After each student received their prize, Deputy City Representative Elka Battle read a proclamation from Mayor Nutter proclaiming April 21, 2015 “Voices of Liberty Day.”
Join us on Tuesday evening, July 18, when Ray and Glen present the greatest sports movie clips of all time, focusing on the theme of “overcoming adversity.” Special guests include St. Joe’s Hawks Head Basketball Coach Phil Martelli; Flyers Great Brian Propp; and Voice of the Eagles & Philadelphia Legend Merrill Reese. Food, craft beer, spirits, and a live auction of sports memorabilia. Learn more and buy your tickets here.
During Pride Month (June 1-30, 2017), we are celebrating heroes in the LGBTQ+ community through highlighted exhibits and special events all month long. When you visit NLM, you’ll learn the stories of those who pushed for progress while helping to support programming that preserves freedom and equality for generations to come. Click here to learn more.
Each year, we look for young people who have championed liberty through civic engagement, resolving conflicts respectfully, promoting diversity, and demonstrating leadership in their school or community. Nominations for our 2017 TD Bank Young Heroes Award have been extended to July 7. Learn more and submit your nomination today!
Opened on Friday, June 2 to coincide with “LGBT Pride Month,” this is the nation’s FIRST museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBT+ community. It showcases the diverse subjects, methods, and styles explored by these artists. The work shown here by Pearl Dick is among dozens of works on display. Click here to learn more.
This year’s GLASS AUCTION & GALA will be held Saturday evening, October 7 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, 201 N 17th St, Philadelphia, PA. An outstanding collection of art is being assembled. Sponsorships are available. Our 2017 "Heroes of Liberty" are Stephen & Sandy Sheller. The artist honoree is Pearl Dick from Chicago. Click here for more information.
Join the NLM on an arts-filled tour of parts of Wisconsin, Sept. 6-11, 2017. From Milwaukee’s art museums, to private collections, to a stop in beautiful Door County, which juts directly into Lake Michigan, you’ll follow host Arlene Silvers for a one-of-a-kind experience. Click here for more information.