SALT LAKE CITY — Elizabeth Smart, a national advocate for abducted children and recovery programs, will receive the Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service during a ceremony April 16 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Smart will be honored along with actor and recording artist Mandy Patinkin and veteran political journalist Bob Schieffer as 2016 recipients of 37th annual Common Wealth Awards. The awards recognize individuals who have enriched modern culture through their professional and personal endeavors.
More than $6 million has been awarded to 195 honorees over the history of the recognition program. Smart, Patinkin and Schieffer will receive $75,000 each when the three are honored next month at the ceremony at Hotel du Pont.
Smart, founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City on June 5, 2002. She was found alive on March 12, 2003, in Sandy with her captors, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. Her abduction, recovery and the prosecutions of Mitchell and Barzee were extensively reported worldwide.
A graduate of BYU, Smart has helped promote the national AMBER Alert system, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.
Smart and co-author Chris Stewart wrote "My Story," a book published in 2013 that revealed how she survived her abduction, repeated sexual assaults and other events during nine months of captivity, as well as her recovery and life since the ordeal.
Smart also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice and four other young adults recovered following their abductions to create a survivors guide titled “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.”
In 2012, Smart married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met while both served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The couple has a daughter.
The Common Wealth Award will recognize Smart for her public service.
Schieffer, who worked 58 years as a journalist, including 46 years at CBS News where he was moderator of "Face the Nation," has won nearly every award in broadcast journalism.
He has won eight Emmys, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence and the Edward R. Murrow Award. He is also the author of three books, "Bob Schieffer's America," "Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast" and "This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV."
After retiring from CBS in 2015, Schieffer became a Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, focusing on the 2016 presidential election.
The Common Wealth Award will be awarded to Schieffer recognizing his contributions to mass communication.
Patinkin, an Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor and recording artist, works in film, theater, television, the concert stage and recording studios.
In his 1980 Broadway debut, Patinkin won a Tony for his role as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita." Four years later, he was nominated for his starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Sunday in the Park with George."
Patinkin has dozens of stage, film and television credits, including his Emmy-winning performance as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on "Chicago Hope." Currently, he appears as CIA agent Saul Berenson in the award-winning Showtime series "Homeland."
As a recording artist, Patinkin released two solo albums on the CBS Records label, "Mandy Patinkin" and "Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual." "Mamaloshen," a collection of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish, won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis award, Germany's equivalent of a Grammy.
Patinkin will be recognized for his contributions to the dramatic arts.
"The 2016 Common Wealth Award honorees have excelled in producing work of enduring value that engages, informs and inspires," said Nicholas M. Marsini Jr., regional vice president of PNC Bank, Delaware. "We applaud these high achievers for their accomplishments and unwavering commitment to excellence."
PNC Bank serves as trustee of the Common Wealth Trust, which funds the Ralph Hayes Common Wealth Foundation. Hayes was an influential business executive and philanthropist who created the trust in his will.
Past winners of the Common Wealth Awards include 11 Nobel laureates among them Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Henry Kissinger and authors Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.