For his community service and contributions in the fields of education, health care, and the art world, Dr. Monroe E. Trout, of Appleton, WI, has been awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Leadership Medal by America’s National Churchill Museum at Westminster College.
The award, the Museum’s highest honor, was presented to Trout on Friday, March 5, during virtual 75th anniversary ceremonies commemorating Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech. The events were hosted by the Museum and Westminster College.
The prestigious award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the spirit of Winston Churchill.
In accepting the medal, Trout, 89, said his interest in Churchill began in the early 1940s, even before the United States entered World War II, when Churchill gave speeches on the radio to American audiences.
“He was a real visionary,” Trout said. “Early on, he saw the problems of Nazi Germany in 1933. After the war, he could see that the Soviet Union would be a major problem for the United States. He studied and knew history, and said, ‘those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it,’ and he was right.”
Trout called Churchill “the greatest person of the century” and “the savior of the free world” for his ability to rally Great Britain, the United States, and their Allies to defeat the Axis forces during World War II.
A dedicated supporter of America’s National Churchill Museum, Trout was saluted by Donald P. Lofe, Jr., Interim President and Chief Transformation Officer of Westminster College, and a host of Churchill Fellows, including alumnus Philip Boeckman, ’88 KA, Senior Fellow; Randolph Spencer-Churchill; Jean-Paul Montupet, Executive Committee Chair of the International Churchill Society; Allen Packwood OBE, Executive Director, Churchill Archives Centre; Richard Mahoney; Clark Durant; and Earle Harbison, Jr.
Coming from a very humble beginning, Trout was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and Dickinson Law School (now Pennsylvania State University Law School). Following eight years of service in the U.S. Navy, Trout launched a career in business, working for Pfizer Inc. and other companies, including American Healthcare Systems (AHS), where he served as Chair and CEO.
Trout has said education “unlocked the door to my future, and my experience imbued me with a spirit of helping others.” He backed that statement up by helping to found Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine. He also established scholarships and endowments at five colleges and universities and made other educational contributions, including the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation.
His contributions to the art world and his service to the Appleton and Knoxville, TN, communities also demonstrate his strong leadership and keen judgement.
Trout and his wife of 60 years, Sandra, gifted their art collection, an eclectic mix of over 150 museum-quality paintings, sculptures, and other decorative objects that represent more than 400 years of art history, to the Appleton Art Center, now the Trout Museum of Art, along with a $1 million endowment to preserve, protect, and promote the collection.
In accepting the Churchill Leadership Medal, Trout joined past medal recipients, including former U.S. Senator John Danforth and his brother, Dr. William H. Danforth, former chancellor of Washington University; Ambassador Stephen Brauer; British Prime Minister Sir John Major; the late journalist and television news pioneer Walter Cronkite; and John W. Bachmann, retired CEO of Edward Jones.
Take a few minutes to watch a compilation of video salutes that highlight Trout’s character and many accomplishments.
View this article on the Westminster College news site.
“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”