Over 400 guests from across the globe gathered in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday, October 4) for the presentation of the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2005.

The Medal, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for philanthropy, came to Scotland, the land of Carnegie’s birth, for the first time. It was presented to:

· His Highness, the Aga Khan who was presented with the medal by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

· Anna Southall, Chair of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, who received the medal from former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson of Port Ellen on behalf of the Cadbury family

· Sir Tom Farmer, Scots founder of Kwik-Fit who was presented with his medal by Scottish First Minister, Rt Hon Jack McConnell

· Eleanor Hewlett Gimon who received the medal on behalf of the Hewlett family from Jane Wales, President of the Global Philanthropy Forum

· Agnes Gund, President of The New York Museum of Modern Art who was presented with her medal by philanthropist and UK Government Minister Lord Sainsbury of Turville

· Susan Packard Orr who received the medal on behalf of the Packard family from Scots philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter.

Each of the recipients were presented with a bronze Andrew Carnegie bust and medal, which were commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation in New York. The busts were made in Chicago by the Wagner Foundry, weigh between eight and 10lbs and were specially designed by American artist Susan Clinard.

Named after Scots-American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, who left the equivalent of $15 billion to philanthropy, the medal is presented every two years to inspirational philanthropists and their families who have dedicated their private wealth to public good.

Previous recipients of the awards include the Gates, Rockefeller and Sainsbury families, media tycoon Ted Turner and financier George Soros.

Over 400 guests at today’s ceremony were from the worlds of philanthropy, politics, business the media and non-governmental organisations, from the UK, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. They also took part in an international philanthropy symposium earlier in the day to debate key challenges for philanthropy in the 21st century.

Today, the 22 foundations Carnegie set up in Europe and the USA support cutting edge scientific research into global ecology; millions of dollars of educational and social development projects in Africa; conflict resolution and democracy-building in the former USSR, China and the Middle East and educational and community development initiatives in Europe and North America.

William Thomson, a great grandson of Andrew Carnegie, is Chair of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2005 Organising Group and the International Selection Committee 2005.

He said:

“The Medals of Philanthropy commemorate Carnegie’s philanthropic legacy and belief that private wealth should be used to benefit mankind. Recipients of the medal share Andrew Carnegie’s vision that distributing one’s accumulated wealth for the common good is just as important a task as building up that wealth.

“Philanthropic work must also reflect a range and depth of endeavours and a sustained record of accomplishment. Additionally the impact of philanthropy on a field, a nation or on the international community needs to be strong and continuous.”

The Award Ceremony was preceded by an international philanthropy symposium attended by commentators and experts of international standing who came together to discuss six key issues for philanthropy in the 21st century.

The events were organised by the UK-based Carnegie trusts. They were supported by the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive, EventScotland, Visit Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and Fife Council.

For more details, see www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk.

Further information regarding the Scottish Parliament is here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/home.htm.

Streaming video of the awards presentation is here: http://www.holyrood.tv/library.asp?title=Carnegie%20Awards%20Ceremony&section=70

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Alex Barr +44 (0) 141 333 9585

Frances Donald +44 (0) 1592 643 200

For further information on the Scottish Parliament or Holyrood, please contact:

Sally Coyne +44 (0) 131 348 6265

For pictures of the event: Contact Sally Coyne as above