May 12, 2011 – An anonymous donor has given $100,000 to the American Numismatic Association in support of the endowment in Memory of Charles “Radford” Stearns and to establish Best-of-Show exhibit awards in Stearns’ name for the ANA’s new fall National Money Show.
The funds will also allow the ANA to grant a Summer Seminar scholarship to the Best-of-Show exhibit winner at the fall National Money Show, and pay for the design of new medals for the fall show exhibits program.
“We are deeply indebted to this generous donor whose grant increased the Radford Stearns Memorial Award endowment manifold times,” said ANA President Clifford Mishler. “How fitting that this gift will continue to fund not only the ‘Excellence in Exhibiting’ recognition on an ongoing basis, but also establish a best-of-show exhibit award for the new fall National Money Show.”
Awards will continue to be given in Stearns’ name to the first and second runners-up in the best-of-show exhibit competition at the annual summer ANA World’s Fair of Money.
“This development pulls together two of Radford’s hobby passions – education and exhibiting,” Mishler said. “He was very supportive of fostering education through exhibiting, building up Summer Seminar and extending the outreach of the ANA to new collectors and exhibitors by making our events more rewarding, appealing and accessible. I know he would be very pleased with this.”
A life member of the ANA, Radford Stearns was a passionate proponent of collector exhibiting and educational outreach. He started in the hobby by collecting type coins and later moved on to paper money, copper coins, Russian coinage, ancients and odd and curious pieces. He exhibited at every opportunity and in 1976 received the Howland Wood Best-of-Show Award in New York City. About that same time he was appointed to the last United States Assay Commission by President Gerald Ford.
Believing strongly in education, he regularly delivered programs at ANA educational forums, local clubs, Florida United Numismatists and Central States Numismatic Society conventions. He was also a member of the Georgia Numismatic Association and the Blue Ridge Numismatic Association.
Stearns received the ANA Good Fellow Award in 1987 as general chairman of the 96th ANA Anniversary Convention in Atlanta, and exhibited for the Cultural Olympics during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He was bestowed the coveted Numismatic Ambassador Award by Numismatic News in 1988, received two ANA Presidential Awards in 1995 and was presented with the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 2004.
Stearns was elected to the ANA Board of Governors in 2007 and, in 2008, advanced a proposal and provided funding to establish the Radford Stearns Award for Excellence in Exhibiting. Those awards were first awarded at the Los Angeles World’s Fair of Money in 2009. He passed away on August 31, 2008, at the age of 67.
If you want to learn more about the ANA, click here.