– It doesn’t matter to us what the political views or opinions of the persons we award are – says Prof. Jan Ludwiczak, Chairman of the Foundation. – We respect them but don’t regard them as a criterion for assessing the candidates. For us, the most important thing is that these persons stand out against others in terms of their artistic work and achievements which can serve as an example and model for others to follow and which we can be proud of. We award people who rise above the average, create something unique regardless of when and in what circumstances they happen to live and work.
The gathered guests observed a minute’s silence in commemoration of Irena Szewińska and Kazimierz Kutz, laureates of previous editions of the Emblem. The unique award of the White Eagle has been granted every two years since 2007. So far, it has been awarded to many distinguished individuals and companies enjoying domestic and international recognition, such as Prof. Maria Siemionow, Adam Małysz, Marek Kondrat, Zbigniew Wodecki, Solange and Krzysztof Olszewscy.
During the 7th finale held this year, this remarkable award went to:
Prof. Tadeusz Maliński – renowned scientist, who for 20 years has been teaching at the most prestigious American universities, i.a. Harvard (Boston) and Stanford University (California). He was three times nominated for the Nobel Prize for scientific achievements and new implementations, mainly in the field of bionanotechnology and its application in medicine.
Prof. Henryk Skarżyński – renowned scientist with extensive achievements in numerous fields. As was stressed during the event, if his achievements were to be distributed among a dozen people of science, each of them could be regarded as a distinguished person. Prof. Henryk Skarżyński is one of the most renowned Polish physicians scientists, who enjoys recognition and respect within the whole scientific community for his achievements and scientific work. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing and the World Hearing Centre in Kajetany near Warsaw.
Presenting a short list of his most important scientific, clinical and implementation achievements that earned him recognition and admiration worldwide would be impossible. They are so many of them that one could distribute them among a dozen scientists and all of them would still be regarded as distinguished. This outstanding scientist and practician is an author of numerous innovative, worldwide recognised research works, scientific programmes and innovative methods designed to bring back hearing to people. He is also an author or co-author of over 150 different innovative clinical procedures and 18 domestic and foreign patents. As the first person in Poland and in Central Eastern Europe he performed a cochlea implant operation in 1992 bringing back hearing to a deaf person and creating a permanent programme for hearing implant use in our country.
As the first person in the world, in 2002 he performed an operation of inserting a cochlea implant in a partially deaf adult using a method he created himself, and two years later he performed the same operation, for the first time ever, in a child, giving a chance for a significant improvement of the quality of life to people with such diseases.
He is an author and co-author of over 1000 publications and over 3000 scientific reports at conferences, congresses and symposia in Poland and abroad. Over 800 of his publications are included in international scientific databases.
He is a supervisor in 27 procedures to obtain a doctoral degree and in 11 post-doctoral dissertations; he supervised 6 professors. He belongs to numerous prestigious international scientific associations, whose activities cover such area of medicine as otolaryngology, audiology, phoniatrics and rehabilitation. Often, he was the first or one of the first Poles in history to become their member. He received 3 honorary doctoral degrees from Polish universities and 3 honorary professor titles from foreign universities. He was awarded: Knight’s Cross, Order of Polonia Restituta, the Officer’s Cross and the Commander’s Cross, Medal Commemorating the Hundred Years of Independence by the President of the Republic of Poland as well as by the king of Belgium (twice), presidents of Georgia and Ukraine and Pope Francis. Moreover, he has over 100 other domestic and foreign orders and decorations. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.
The Statue of the Emblem of the White Eagle was also received by 12 other distinguished people and companies, such as:
Krystyna Janda – outstanding film and theatre actress, artistic director of Teatr Polonia and Och-Teatr theatres in Warsaw. The award was given for great contribution to the development of the Polish culture and its popularisation worldwide.
Anita Włodarczyk – renowned sportswoman, athlete, twice winner of gold medal at the Olympic Games, four-time world champion and multiple record breaker in hammer throw. The award was given for outstanding sports successes and making Poland famous worldwide.
Czesław Lang – track cyclist and road racer, Olympic runner-up and two-time medallist of world championship in road racing. Since he ended his career as a cyclist, he has been a sports activist and organiser of Tour de Pologne – one of the most important races in the present-day world. The award was given for outstanding contributions to the development of Polish cycling and promoting it worldwide.
Rafał Dutkiewicz – entrepreneur and member of the local government, between 2002 and 2018 mayor of Wrocław. The award was given for fruitful term in office during which Wrocław became one of the most beautiful cities in Poland.
Prezes Dariusz Miłek – worldwide known entrepreneur, owner of numerous companies and the famous, highly valued professional cyclist team CCC Development Team. The award was given for making Poland famous worldwide and for successes in combining business and sport.
Anna Dymna – renowned theatre and film actress, social activist, founder and president of Anna Dymna’s “Mimo Wszystko” Foundation. The award was given for great contribution to the Polish culture and its popularisation worldwide.
Zygmunt Rafał Trzaskowski – founder and director of the company Herz Systems LTD from Zielona Góra, which specialises in research and production of defence systems for the Polish Armed Forces and NATO and participates in international space projects. The award was given for great contributions to the Polish space sector and defence capability of the country.
Piotr Giermaziak – entrepreneur, founder and author of successes of companies Wix-Filtron, Netbox, Convert, Auto ABC from Gostyń poviat. The award was given for the contribution to the development of entrepreneurship in the region.
Prof. Jacek Maria Majchrowski – Polish lawyer, historian of political and legal doctrines, former member of the State Tribunal. Expert of the 2nd Republic of Poland engaged in documenting its history, especially the activity of right-wing groups. Since 2002, mayor of Cracow – with the longest term in office in the history of the city. The award was given for great contributions to the restoration and development of Cracow.
Janusz Kubicki – Polish member of the local government and manager, mayor of Zielona Góra since 2006. The award was given for dynamic development of the city and the entire local community.