Medallion of Merit Award Winners
Medallion of Merit is the highest honor bestowed by NSAL. It is given to those individuals whose lifetime achievements in the arts embody the highest standards and whose careers will stand as role models for young artists.
2017 Medallion of Merit Recipient Carol Schilling
Born and raised in southern Indiana and a graduate in English literature from Indiana University, Ms. Schilling moved to Arizona to attend graduate school in anthropology at the University of Arizona.
Words being an important part of her genetic makeup (her mother and her five sisters were published authors), Ms. Schilling became a reporter and editor for The Phoenix Gazette before retiring into motherhood and community volunteer work in the 1970s.
She has been a volunteer and a philanthropist for more than 40 years. She has been a donor to and served on the boards of Ballet Arizona, Arizona Opera, the Desert Botanical Garden, and Arizona School for the Arts.
At the Desert Botanical Garden, she started out as a horticultural aide, founding and editing The Sonoran Quarterly bulletin, and eventually becoming a member of the Garden board of Trustees.
Ballet Arizona captured her heart with a performance of “Serenade” and she became a board member and major donor for 16 years, helping to lead the organization out of debt to its present state of being debt-free and enjoying an endowment. She and her husband Randy, a professional fundraiser, led the capital campaign of $13.5 million that obtained a new rehearsal and administrative home for the company and school. She recruited board members and other donors to help Ballet Arizona make its rise to artistic excellence and financial stability. She facilitated a joint arrangement through which Ballet Arizona performs at the Desert Botanical Garden and has been a major funder for that project. Ballet Arizona honored the Schillings at their winter gala this past January.
Ms. Schilling was given the Arizona Philanthropist of the Year award in 2008 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In addition to the Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, and Arizona School for the Arts, she has been a donor to many local organizations including The Phoenix Zoo, Audubon Arizona, the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theater, and Arizona Humane Society.
Ms. Schilling is a founding trustee and now chairs the board of trustees of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
She has two grown children and is married to Randy Schilling.
1966 Guy Taylor, Music -Conductor*
1967 Dr. Joseph Woods Krutch, Art
1968 Louise Lincoln Kerr, Patron*
1969 Dr. Collice Henry Portnoff, Literature*
1970 Veda Berkman, Piano*
1970 Forrest Thornburg, Drama*
1971 Walter Bohl, Art*
1971 Donald and Bea Issac, Music*
1972 Glendon Swarthout, Literature*
1973 Dr. Eugene Lombardi, Music*
1974 David B. Scoular, Music*
1975 John Henry Waddell, Art
1976 Philip C. Curtis, Art*
1978 Drs, Ariel and Will Durant, Literature*
1979 Bettina Hall-Rubicam, Drama*
1979 Sandy Rosenthal, Drama
1980 Dr. William Christiansen, Dance*
1981 Dr. Leonard Lehrer, Art
1982 Horacio Gutierrez, Music
1984 John W. Paul, Drama
1986 Helen Blair Crosbie, Art
1987 Barbara Leslie Jordan Yellot, Literature*
1988 Don Dedera, Literature
1989 Dr. Donald Doyle, Drama
1990 George Zoritch, Dance*
1991 The Honorable Barry M. Goldwater, Art*
1992 Madame Galina Vishnevskaya, Music*
1992 Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich, Music*
1993 Shelley Cohn (Arizona Commission on the Arts)
1994 Alan Prewitt, Drama
1995 Kathy Hotchner (Scottsdale Cultural Council)
1996 Rudy Turk, Art
1997 Glynn Ross, Music*
1998 Ron Carlson, Literature
1999 Robert Sorenson, Drama
2000 Frances Smith Cohen, Dance
2001 Ben Goo, Art, Sculpture
2002 Dr. Robert Hamilton, Music- Piano
2003 Dr. Alberto Rios, Literature, Poetry
2004 Mrs. Judy Kaye, Musical Theatre
2005 Dr. J. Robert Wills, Drama*
2006 LB Andersen, Dance
2007 Allen Dutton, Photography
2008 Nancy and Richard Joaquim, Voice
2009 Dr. David Saar, Drama
2010 Jewell Parker Rhodes, Literature
2011 Dr. Jory Hancock, Dance
2012 Michael Barnard, Musical Theatre
2013 Merrill Mahaffey, Print Making
2014 Robert Moody, Music – Conductor
2015 Dwayne Hartford, Drama 2016 Colleen Jennings-Roggensack