This award was established in tribute to Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune because of her dynamic leadership and her years of contributing to  education, women’s history, and African-American life and culture. Dr. Bethune served as the first woman president of ASALH from  1936 to 1951 and is one of the most outstanding women role models in our history. The award recipient must be a member of ASALH  who has been an active supporter and contributor to the ASALH’s work for 10 or more years. The individual’s significant contribution  must have been in at least five of the following areas: Branch work; service on the Executive Council; fund raising; work on the Black  History Month Theme Material; education; and the Woodson House Campaign. Finally, the recipient will be one whose career has been highlighted with service to education, African  American history, and the community. All these attributes symbolize the life of Dr. Bethune. The award is presented annually.

1995
Jeanette L. Cascone

1996
Edgar Toppin

1997
Sylvia M. Jacobs

1998
Roland C. McConnell

1999
Wayland McClellan

2000
Alton Parker Hornsby

2001
Shirley Kilpatrick

2002
Madlyn Calbert and Rev. William E. Calbert

2003
Adelaide Cromwell

2004 
Rev. Richard T. Adams

2005
Edna McKenzie and Elmer Geathers

2006
Bettye Gardner and Elizabeth Clark-Lewis

2007
Paul Edwards and  Lillie Edwards

2008
Barbara Walker and  Dolores Nehemiah

2009
Bob Hayden

2010
Florence Radcliffe

2011
Daryl Michael Scott

2012
Janet Sims-Wood

2013
No Award

2014
Barbara Spencer Dunn

2015
Louis Hicks

2016
LaVonne Neal and Lois Watson