Governor “Butch” Otter Monday presented the 2018 Idaho Medal of Achievement posthumously to iconic Idaho human rights leader Marilyn Shuler.
Shuler, who passed away last February at the age of 77, served for twenty years as director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission. The Idaho Medal of Achievement was presented to the Shuler family, represented by Idaho Air National Guard Colonel Tom Shuler.
At a ceremony in the Idaho Capitol, Otter was joined in presenting the award by former Governor Phil Batt, whose own career in public life was distinguished by his work on human rights issues.
“Marilyn Shuler is the unquestioned, all-time champion of human rights in Idaho,” Batt said.
The Idaho Medal of Achievement was created by executive order in November, 2015 to recognize individual Idahoans for their “exceptional, meritorious, and inspirational” service to the people of Idaho. Otter chose Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day to make the announcement and present the award.
“I can’t think of a better day to honor Marilyn Shuler than on a day we recognize the sacrifices and accomplishments of those who advanced the cause of human rights through their own self-sacrifice and determination,” Otter said. “Marilyn was every bit a stalwart champion for human rights and a guiding light in our state for decency and compassion.”
The four-member Idaho Medal of Achievement Commission nominated Shuler for Governor Otter’s final consideration.
“Marilyn Shuler was one of over sixty Idahoans who were under consideration for the state’s most prestigious honor,” said the Commission’s chair, former Idaho Chief Justice Linda Copple Trout. “We want to stress while this award sets a high standard, it is relatively easy for the public to nominate a deserving individual.”
Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co. provided the silver for the Idaho Medal of Achievement and is sponsoring the award. Each medallion is made of 99.9-percent fine silver and weighs 19.7 troy ounces and features a relief carving of the Idaho State Capitol on the front and the Idaho State Seal on the back.
The public is encouraged to go to the Governor’s website -– gov.idaho.gov -- or contact the Governor’s Office by mail to nominate deserving individuals for the 2019 award. An advertising campaign seeking nominees includes radio and television public service announcements. The deadline for nominations for next year’s award is this coming March 31st.