January 31, 2020

Dear Cranbrook Friends and Family,

It is my privilege today to announce the presentation of Cranbrook’s highest honor: The Founders Award.

First awarded in 1955, the Founders Award recognizes extraordinary individuals whose, “service to Cranbrook and personal, civic and professional accomplishments exemplify the values of Cranbrook and its founders, and who have demonstrated leadership in personal philanthropy and career achievement.” In tribute to Cranbrook founders George and Ellen Booth, their son Henry Scripps Booth collaborated with sculptor Marshall Fredericks to design a bronze medal to commemorate the event. The first medal recipients were three accomplished visionaries from around the world who, quite literally, built Cranbrook from the ground up: Eliel Saarinen, Carl Milles, and Michael Vettraino. 

To uphold the meritorious standard set in 1955, a Founders Medal, still cast from the original Fredericks design, is conferred by the Cranbrook Board of Trustees only on the occasion of true distinction. Past recipients have included some of the brightest minds of their generation – from renowned scientists to artists, legislators to a brigadier general, and educators to activists. Today, it is my honor to announce four individuals who add to Cranbrook history and join company with this highly esteemed group:

Patricia Chase (K48) and E. Jan Hartmann
Awarded posthumously

R. Jamison Williams, Jr. (C59)

Tod Williams (C61) 

Bold, illustrious, creative, courageous, principled, and community-minded: these qualities of our founders are again brought to light by this year’s recipients. Last awarded in 2014, it will be my great honor to present Rick Williams, Tod Williams, and the Hartmann children on behalf of their parents with a Founders Medal in May 2020.

To learn more about Cranbrook’s newest honorees, please read excerpts below from recommendations that were put forth for board of trustee consideration.
Patricia Chase (K48) and E. Jan Hartmann, Awarded posthumously
Patricia (Pat) and Jan Hartmann were known across the Cranbrook campus for their exceptional trustee leadership, board governance at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Cranbrook Schools, and abundant good humor. Combined, their long volunteer history included terms as trustees, senior trustee, life governor of the Academy, and a Schools Governor. With a deep commitment to education, their positive influence and skilled leadership extended well beyond Cranbrook. Appointed to the Oakland University Board of Trustees by both Governors Milliken and Blanchard, Pat broke the glass ceiling with her exceptional leadership as the first woman to ever chair the board. A fixture in board rooms across Michigan, Pat also served the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Opera Society, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, among others. An automotive services industry leader who capped his career with Ziebart International Corporation, Jan Hartmann was an active partner in philanthropy with Pat. Together, the Hartmanns were founding members of Eton Academy, helping to gather the academic and medical experts to establish the school in the 1980s. The Hartmann-Eton Center for Teaching and Learning was officially launched in 2017 with the goal of "teaching the teachers" to help children who learn differently, expanding Eton's reach beyond the immediate community. For a lifetime together of leadership, career achievement, and a legacy of philanthropy throughout Cranbrook and southeast Michigan, we are honored to recognize Patricia Chase Hartmann and E. Jan Hartmann.

R. Jamison Williams, Jr. (C59)
R. Jamison “Rick” Williams’s introduction to Cranbrook came with his entry to junior kindergarten at Cranbrook Lower School Brookside. In a career of leadership that began in 1959 as Head Prefect, Rick returned to Cranbrook as a governor, a parent, Horizons-Upward Bound Advisory Board member, and as a member of the Board of Trustees. Rick earned his B.A. from Princeton University, J.D. from the University of Michigan, and is today regarded among the premier corporate law attorneys in Michigan. He is a founder and Managing Partner of Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, P.C. and consistently recognized by his peers as one of the “Best Lawyers in America.” In addition to his service at Cranbrook, Rick served as a trustee of Beaumont Hospital and Center for Hearing Disorders (University of Michigan, Kresge Hearing Institute). He is the former chairman of the board of trustees for the Michigan Opera Theatre and Detroit Opera House, and currently serves as a trustee for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Rick received the National Opera Trustee Award from Opera America in recognition of his, “exemplary leadership, generosity and audience-building efforts.” For his sound counsel, exceptional philanthropy across the community, and advocacy for education and the arts, we are honored to recognize R. Jamison Williams, Jr.

Tod Williams (C61) 
“Committed to making a better world through architecture,” alumnus Tod Williams '61 is an award-winning international architect and co-founder of New York based studio, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. After graduating from Cranbrook in 1961, Tod received his undergraduate degree, MFA and Master of Architecture degrees from Princeton University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy, among other honored scholarly organizations. Awarded with a National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2013, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects were also selected in 2016 to lead the design for the Barack Obama Presidential Center. With a focus on cultural and educational projects, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects's work garners worldwide prestige, including a recent Japanese cultural award, honorarium and gold medal - the 2019 Praemium Imperiale. Among Tod’s many master work citations is the design for Cranbrook’s Williams Natatorium. Opened in 1999, the Williams Natatorium continues to receive critical acclaim for its brilliant combination of material and form. Tod is a senior trustee and member of the Cranbrook Properties Committee.  For his dedication to strengthen the foundations of Cranbrook and cultural and educational institutions around the world, we are honored to recognize Tod Williams.
To view a list of Founders Award recipients, please click here


Dominic A. DiMarco, President
Cranbrook Educational Community
248.645.3100 |
P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801
Cranbrook campus photography by Colton Graub