Thursday, February 3, 2022

Nominations for Whipple Award sought in Plymouth

Nominations are now being accepted in Plymouth for the Ruth Huston-Whipple Award for Civic Engagement.

The award is named in honor of Ruth Huston-Whipple, the first female elected Plymouth City Commissioner (1934-1949), first female mayor of Plymouth (1940- 1942) and first female Wayne County Board of Supervisors member. She was a 1913 graduate of Plymouth High School and later worked as a teacher and debate coach at the school.

Mrs. Whipple fought against school policies that discriminated against married women and eventually left the district in protest.

She remained, however, a leader in the Plymouth community, championing the improvement of inhumane conditions at a local juvenile detention center and addressing environmental and beautification concerns in the city. The purpose of the Ruth Huston-Whipple Award for Civic Engagement is to honor a community member who, like Ruth Huston-Whipple, has positively impacted the quality of life in the City of Plymouth through his or her exceptional civic and/or philanthropic engagement in the community above and beyond reasonable expectations; demonstrated character, commitment and/or leadership qualities; actively participated in community or civic organizations whose sphere of influence falls within the City of Plymouth and exemplified accomplishments and contributions to the economic vitality and/or residential quality of life in the City of Plymouth.

Nominees must have demonstrated engagement, leadership and achievement over a period of time. A person nominated must have demonstrated civic and/or philanthropic engagement within the City of Plymouth. Examples of impact should show a community benefit, delivered with integrity and perseverance. Married couples can be nominated although past Ruth Huston-Whipple Award recipients, current members of the Plymouth City Commission and full-time employees of the City of Plymouth are not eligible to be nominated.

The nomination period closes April 30 of each year when a selection committee comprising two mayor-appointed city commissioners and a representative from the City of Plymouth administration will select and notify the winner(s). 

The nomination form is available at 

Past Ruth Huston-Whipple Award Winners were Debra Madonna in 2020 and the late Jim Jabara in 2021.