Since 1996, the SAME Academy of Fellows has honored two outstanding Americans: a SAME Fellow for outstanding contributions to the engineering profession; and a prominent leader for significant contributions to national security.
In 2015, SAME expanded the award for Fellows to include outstanding contributions to the architecture, construction and engineering (A/E/C) professions. In doing so, Ms. Suzanne DiGeronimo became the first architect--and first female--to be honored with a Golden Eagle Award.
The Golden Eagle Award is presented annually at the Golden Eagle Awards Dinner, which takes place in the D.C. metropolitan area each spring. The award, like SAME itself, has a rich heritage.
In 1782 the bald eagle was chosen as the emblem of our new nation because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, as well as the belief that the bald eagle could be found only on the North American continent.
One legend says that another reason the bald eagle was chosen as the U.S. national emblem was that, during an early morning battle of the American Revolution, the noise of the struggle awoke sleeping eagles on the heights, who flew from their nests and circled above the heads of the fighting men. As they flew above, they bellowed raucous cries, causing the patriots to exclaim, "They are shrieking for freedom!"
President John F. Kennedy once wrote of this majestic bird, "The Founding Fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the eagle as the emblem of the nation. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolize the strength and freedom of America."
For these reasons and more, the SAME Academy of Fellows named its annual honor after this majestic symbol of American dedication and spirit to a greater good. The award was sculpted as a crystal eagle in flight above a solid wooden base, further symbolizing the strength and character of the individuals being honored.
Past Golden Eagle Award Winners