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Dolly Parton Named 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Recipient

Dolly Parton is among this year’s Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipients. The beloved country superstar is being recognized for making a big donation to help fund coronavirus vaccine research in 2020.

Parton will be receiving a medal alongside Dallas entrepreneur Lyda Hill, Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria, and Lynn and Stacy Schusterman, from the Oklahoma investment family. The award, presented to honor innovative philanthropists, debuted in 2001 and is normally awarded every two years. It was not issued in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 honorees will receive their medals in a private ceremony in New York on October 13.

Parton’s $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center received plenty of attention, with some people even dubbing the Moderna vaccine as "Dolly's vaccine." However, she's not the only recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy to have donated to the company. Fellow honoree Hill, through her Lyda Hill Philanthropies, was also an early donor to the work that would yield the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Parton, in a statement, said she was honored to receive the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy:

“I’ve always believed that if you are in a position to help, you should help, and I truly hope that I can be an inspiration for others to lift up those around them,” said Parton. “Whether through my Imagination Library or giving to COVID-19 research, I try to support things that have a special meaning for me. I hope everyone can find something they’re passionate about supporting and do what they can to help make this world a better place.”

The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy exemplifies philanthropists whose donations have made a long-lasting impact, in addition to making timely grants to address current needs. Considering the intense need created by COVID-19, the pandemic was top of mind while the selection committee was making its decisions, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science Eric Isaacs stated.

“Obviously, this is a very difficult time with the pandemic,” he said. “But we think environmental issues are probably equally, if not more, impactful in the sense that pandemics like COVID-19 are likely to become more frequent as the atmosphere heats up. I think we take the long view in terms of our selections.”

You can learn more about the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and this year's honorees by visiting the organization's official website.

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Article Image: Dolly Parton performs outdoors at The Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island in 2019. (Carl Beust via Shutterstock.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey