History Awards

The Washington State Historical Society's annual awards recognize excellence in advancing the field of history in the state of Washington through writing, teaching, historic projects, and understanding cultural diversity. See the list of awards below.

The awards are presented at the Society's annual meeting in June each year. Washington State Historical Society employees are not eligible for the awards.  For further information about the awards program, contact Society Awards Committee staff member:

Susan Rohrer
Director of Statewide Outreach
at the Historic Lord Mansion
211 - 21st Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 360-586-0166
(360) 586-8322 - fax

Robert Gray MedalList of Awards:

  • Robert Gray Medal
    The highest award bestowed by the Washington State Historical Society, the Robert Gray Medal recognizes distinguished and long-term contributions to Pacific Northwest history through demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following areas: teaching, writing, research, historic preservation, and service to local historical societies. The winner receives a framed Robert Gray Medal with certificate.
  • David Douglas Award
    Recognizes the significant contribution of an individual or an organization through projects, exhibits, digital presentations or programs such as documentaries, apps, websites or blogs, educational products or any other vehicle that informs or expands our appreciation of any field of Washington State history during the previous year. No book nominations permitted. The winner receives a framed certificate and David Douglas pin.
  • Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching History
    Presented to an outstanding certified teacher of Pacific Northwest history in an accredited K-12 school in Washington or to a nonprofit organization. The awards committee welcomes nominations of persons who demonstrate effective teaching by any measure of excellence. This may include, but is not limited to the use and development and an innovative curriculum, consistent effectiveness in utilizing Pacific Northwest history in either the classroom or the community over an extended period of time, the advancement of Pacific Northwest history as a field of academic inquiry, a lasting impact on students, the use or development of innovative technology, and the encouragement of Pacific Northwest themes in History Day presentations. The award includes $750 and a Gold Star of recognition.
  • Peace and Friendship Awards
    Presented to a Native American and a second individual, each of whom have advanced public understanding of the cultural diversity of the peoples of Washington State. Winners receive a framed President Jefferson Peace and Friendship Medal with certificate. If nominating for both awards, submit separate nomination materials.