Terrel H. Bell, a member of the Ensign Peak Ward in Salt Lake City and a former U.S. Secretary of Education, has been named one of three winners of the first annual Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize.
The $25,000 award, sponsored by the McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., will be given annually to people who "have made a difference in education," a company representative said.The prize was given to Bell for his service to American education as head of the Education Department from 1981 to 1984. During his administration he fought to keep the department at the Cabinet level and was instrumental in saving many federal programs. He was also commended for his leadership of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, whose report, "A Nation at Risk," focused attention on problems in the nation's schools. That report was instrumental in spurring new educational reforms.
Bell, who was serving as Utah commissioner of higher education when President Ronald Reagan asked him to come to Washington, resigned as education secretary in 1984. He began teaching at the University of Utah in 1985.
Bell received the award Dec. 6. The other two prize winners were Helen B. Crouch and Sen. Clairborne Pell, D-R.I.