President bestows Medal of Freedom on Tennessee's Pat Summitt

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 6:34pm

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon conferred the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on former University of Tennessee women’s basketball Coach Pat Summitt.

Obama hailed the 38-year veteran coach for achieving “more wins than any other coach, male or female, in the history of the NCAA.”

“More importantly, every player who ever played for Coach Summitt either graduated or is on her way to graduating,” Obama added.

Neither Summitt nor the others awarded the medal in Tuesday’s White House ceremony addressed the inviting guests and none was available for interviews afterward.

The official citation of Summitt’s award reads as follows:

“In addition to accomplishing an outstanding career as the all-time winningest leader among all NCAA basketball coaches, Summitt has taken the University of Tennessee to more Final Four appearances than any other coach and has the second best record of NCAA Championships in basketball. She has received numerous awards, including being named Naismith Women’s Collegiate Coach of the Century. Off the court, she has been a spokesperson against Alzheimer's. The Pat Summitt Foundation will make grants to nonprofits to provide education and awareness, support to patients and families, and research to prevent, cure and ultimately eradicate early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.”

Obama also presented Medals to singer Bob Dylan, the prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, former astronaut and Senator John Glenn and other honorees.

The president bestowed the award posthumously on Jan Karski, the Polish Underground operative who carried early news of the Holocaust from Nazi occupied Poland to Allied leaders in 1942.

Gasps arose from the Polish press contingent when Obama referred to one of Karski’s wartime exploits as a visit to a “Polish death camp.”

Poles and Polish-Americans have long objected to that phrase, feeling that it unfairly suggests Polish complicity in the genocide carried out by the Nazis on Polish territory.

9 Comments on this post:

By: dgallent on 5/30/12 at 3:12

Glad she got the award but hate t see her on camera with Obama....

By: pswindle on 5/30/12 at 9:40

Presidenst Obama was so gracious and kind and after receiving her medal, Pat reached up and kissed President obama and he responded. It was touching and it make me proud to be a Tennessean.
It is the attutude of people like dgallent that turns a wonderful experience so dirty. I guess you would prefer the silly, dry-drunk Bush or the wishy-washy Mitt to giggle all the way to the presentations.

By: yucchhii on 5/31/12 at 12:04

osama...I mean obama is a politician...Politician=criminal!! I could care less about ANY award given to me by a CRIMINAL!!!

By: pswindle on 5/31/12 at 2:33

How is he a criminal? I guess that Bush would really be one. He lied us into two wars, Just to name a couple of things. Oh, i forgot , Bush can't travel outside of the US. He wlll be arrested on war crimes.

By: qwqw12 on 6/1/12 at 1:07

You want to buy roses bag ? I really like this site because this site which I can find your favorite bag ,I would like to introduce you to this shop , it has been welcome by the customers love bags ! please pay attention to this site to see , there are a lot of nice bag , Louis Vuitton UK each hand-made leather bag requires perfection, thus great deal of time are spent on every single product.

By: qwqw12 on 6/1/12 at 1:08

Really thank you for letting me be able to see interesting things . gucci outlet good quality and the absolute value for money of the price discount .Here are the various color, style diversity, We guarantee that each bag is carefully crafted , the quality is absolutely guaranteed . you will have unexpected surprise Oh! Welcome to our look at the latest bag .

By: qwqw12 on 6/1/12 at 1:09

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. The summer of 2012 to make our bags to accompany you to spend it .In view of the different customers' needs, and we have different kinds of bag.louis vuitton outlet for customers of all ages , there is sunshine, there is steady , a simple , there is always a right for you .

By: qwqw12 on 6/1/12 at 1:09

I believe you are a pursuit of fashion people , I am very pleased to be here to share with you this site . I believe you will find their own style of glasses . Now please look at this Discount oakley sunglasses, You can come to this website and see what may have your favorite bag . Discount Oakley Sunglasses here will be your favorites as the way to show your fashion lifestyle.And our quality is guaranteed .

By: qwqw12 on 6/1/12 at 1:10

Read your article and very fruitful . It's right thanks. Pay attention to the details of our store bag making is one of the features of! then do not hesitate to take a look at this site which , there is a very stylish bags , gucci outlet lot of style , color, variety , excellent material of the bag , you are still hesitant about it , and quickly come to see it !