Photographs courtesy of David Hume Kennerly
BETTY FORD RECIPIENT OF THE 2005 GERALD R. FORD MEDAL FOR DISTINGUISHED PUBLIC SERVICE
Betty Ford was the recipient of the 2005 Gerald R.
Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
President Ford presented the award at the annual dinner of the Gerald R.
Ford Foundation at The Lodge at Rancho Mirage in Rancho Mirage,
"This will be a very special occasion for me, my family, our friends, and all of those people that have benefited from Betty's lifetime commitment to their welfare”, stated President Ford. Ford went on to say that "her total dedication to openness, frankness, her real strong belief in equal rights for women, her handling of her breast cancer, her forthrightness of dealing with her chemical dependency are the strong character evidences of a lady I tremendously admire."
The medal is given annually to an individual who has served the public good in the private or public sector and was established by the Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation in 2003. Previous recipients have been Alan Greenspan, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. According to Board Chairman, Martin J. Allen, Jr., "the criteria for the recipient are based on characteristics that President Ford demonstrated in his public service. They include courage, strength of character, integrity, diligence and determination in the face of adversity all of which have been characteristic of Betty Ford's commitment to public service."