(Gallery) Three notables to receive Common Wealth Awards

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(Jon Bon Jovi photo courtesy of Harpo, Inc.)

Three notables  will be honored for their lifetime accomplishments with the 36th Annual Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service.

The awards recognize individuals who have enriched modern culture through their professional and personal endeavors.

The 2015 Common Wealth Award recipients are:

–  Jon Bon Jovi, lead singer of Grammy Award-winning rock band and humanitarian, for Public Service;

–  Edward Norton, award-winning actor, screenwriter, director, producer and philanthropist, for Public Service;

– Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, for Mass Communications.

The honorees will be recognized at the Common Wealth Awards ceremony hosted by The PNC Financial Services Group on Saturday, April 25 at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington.

The ceremony is a black tie affair with attendance generally limited to community leaders and customers of PNC. A press conference featuring the recipients was dropped several years ago. The program does have an educational component with schools in Delaware.

The Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service were first presented in 1979 by The Common Wealth Trust which was created under the will of Ralph Hayes, an influential business executive and philanthropist. The awards are now made by The Ralph Hayes Common Wealth Foundation, which is funded by the Common Wealth Trust. PNC Bank, National Association, serves as trustee of the Common Wealth Trust and administrator of the Ralph Hayes Common Wealth Foundation.

In the 36-year history of the Common Wealth Awards, more than $6 million has been awarded to 192 honorees. The 2015 honorees will each receive an award of $75,000.

“The 2015 Common Wealth Award honorees are distinguished achievers in their respective fields who share a broader commitment to global social responsibility,” said Nicholas M. Marsini, Jr., regional president for PNC Bank, Delaware. “We applaud these individuals for their numerous accomplishments and we look forward to their future contributions to society.”

Ralph Hayes, creator of the Common Wealth Awards, served on the board of directors of one of PNC’s predecessor banks in Delaware from 1935 to 1965. Through the awards, he sought to recognize outstanding achievement in eight disciplines: dramatic arts, literature, science, invention, mass communications, public service, government, and sociology.

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