The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism awards $100,000 each year at Commencement to its recipient, who returns to campus for a short residency during the academic year.

Committed to restoring and sustaining the natural world for future generations, Rose and Walters created this prize to focus attention on the need to reduce the impact of human lives on the planet, particularly given the rising population predictions for this century. “Education is a necessity if we are to understand the problems facing the natural world and its inhabitants,” said Rose. “Julie and I wanted to endow the prize at Dickinson because we fully support the curriculum, which promotes student awareness of the environment and training for professional careers in the sciences as well as responsible living for the protection of all life forms.” (Read the award's full statement of purpose here.)

Rose, a real-estate developer and attorney, was a member of the 1958 Dickinson lacrosse team that made college history when it won Dickinson’s first and only national title. A founding partner of Greenbaum and Rose Associates, he has more than 40 years of experience in commercial development, primarily in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. An emeritus trustee of Dickinson, in 2001 he established the Samuel G. Rose ’58 Scholarship at Dickinson for economically disadvantaged students. Rose also serves as vice chair at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and he and Walters are members of Dickinson’s Founders’ Society.

As long-time supporters of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Rose and Walters endowed the prize to honor NRDC co-founder John H. Adams and his 40 years of dedication and service to environmental causes.

The award is given annually to an individual or group dedicated to preserving the planet and its resources. Recipients are carefully vetted and selected by a committee including environmental science faculty, the provost and several leaders in environmental organizations including a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council.


2020: Armond Cohen, the founder and executive director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), a leading force in reducing air pollution and climate pollutants from the nation’s power plants, industries and cars and trucks since its founding in 1996.

2019: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international environmental advocacy organization, for work defending America’s wildlands, including the Arctic National Refuge, Bristol Bay in Alaska, and the monuments of the West.

2018: Our Children's Trust, a nonprofit leading a global climate recovery campaign, elevating the voice of youth—those with most at stake in the climate crisis—to favorably impact their futures through advocacy, public education and civic engagement.

2017: Brett Jenks, president and CEO of Rare, a global conservation organization that uses its expertise in human behavior change to create enduring and sustainable climate-smart solutions for both people and nature

2016: Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist talks about climate change during a public lecture at Dickinson – "The Sixth Extinction"

2015: Mark Ruffalo, actor, director and award-winning advocate for addressing climate change and increasing renewable energy – "No Cape Required: Mark Ruffalo Urges Students to 'Act Up' For The Environment During Rose-Walters Residency"

2014: James Balog, author, scientist and award-winning photographer who founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) and Earth Vision Trust – "Talking Ice: James Balog Discusses his Work 'Chasing Ice' With the Dickinson Community"

2013: Lisa P. Jackson, Apple's vice president of environmental initiatives and former Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President Barack Obama – "How to Change the World: EPA Leader Holds Energized Residency"

2012: Bill McKibben, author, journalist and founder of – "On the Front Line: Rose-Walters Prize Recipient Bill Mckibben Brings Front Line of Climate Fight to Dickinson"