Illustration by Tony Auth, 2004 Franklin Founders' Award Recipient
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was the quintessential American. A founding father with a powerful and lasting legacy, he was also a genius of inquisitive mind and broad interests. In celebrating Franklin, we revisit his accomplishments and their impact on history while casting new light on the American character.
Celebration! of Benjamin Franklin, Founder was established to bring international attention to Franklin’s ideas and accomplishments, and to highlight his relevance in the modern world. Comprised of representatives from several leading Philadelphia institutions, the organization sponsors an annual event on Franklin’s birthday with a vibrant public procession through Old City to his grave in Christ Church Burial Ground.
Each year, the celebration highlights a theme that connects Franklin’s work to current social issues and concerns. The daylong event serves as a public "junto" about important issues, tracing a through-line from Franklin's day to our own.
During a luncheon ceremony, we present the Franklin Founder Award to an honored guest who has excelled in that field.
Honorees through the years include Dr. Anne Case and Sir Angus Deaton, Dr. Stephen Chu, Gov. Jon Huntsman, Laurie Olin, Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Edward O. Wilson.
Our 2018 Celebration theme was Race Awareness in America. The celebration honored Franklin Founder Award winners Dr. Robert W. Bogle and The Philadelphia Tribune.