Weidner Awards

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Weidner Rescuers Award

The Weidner Rescuers Award is an endowed humanitarian prize that will be given to living persons who have risked their lives to save, shelter, aid, or protect others in ways that recall the actions and spirit of John Weidner during World War II. The Chair of the Award Committee, Michael Besancon, is the son of a Dutchman who was saved by John Weidner’s resistance network. The Award Jury seeks to recognize persons who, like John Weidner, have fulfilled all or some of the following criteria:

  1. acted repeatedly or over an extended period of time,
  2. at significant risk to their own lives,
  3. using nonviolent methods,
  4. to save the lives of persons faced with genocide, ethnic cleansing, political repression, state-sponsored violence, human trafficking, or religious persecution.

The first Award recipient shall be announced in November 2021, on the 25th anniversary of the Weidner Foundation’s incorporation in the State of Massachusetts.

Butler student scholarships

Through the vision and leadership of Foundation board member William Ervin, and in partnership with the Indianapolis Rotary Club, the Weidner Foundation has awarded Weidner scholarships and prizes to “student altruists” at Butler University since 2007. Recipients of the Butler Endowed John Weidner Scholarship for Altruism, and The University of Indianapolis Rotary John Weidner Award, include the following individuals:

The Butler Endowed John Weidner Scholarship for Altruism Award

  • 2020     Reagan Wohlford
  • 2019     Ashleigh Doub
  • 2018     Sara Eichmeier
  • 2017     Madison Sauertag
  • 2016     Matthew Pauszek
  • 2015     Blake Moskal
  • 2014     Alex Petersen
  • 2013     Coleen Quilty
  • 2012     Troy Gulden
  • 2011     Jessica Strong
  • 2010     Stuart Harvey
  • 2009     Kristen Lohe
  • 2008     Cory Hall


The University of Indianapolis Rotary John Weidner Award 

  • 2014     Taylor Clark, Elizabeth Hale, Lauren Shafer
  • 2013     Ryan Ward
  • 2012     Dan Peterson, Maura Scudder
  • 2011     Christina Tatara, Michelle Burke
  • 2010     Julie Williams, La’Kia Moore-Scott
  • 2009     Hannah Wysong, Curtis Ward
  • 2008     Tony Liszewski
  • 2007     Katie Doane

Research grants

The Weidner Foundation is now offering grants of up to $1000 to undergraduate and graduate students conducting research using the documents in the Weidner Collection housed in the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  To apply for a Weidner Foundation research grant, you should send us a brief research proposal that describes the nature of your project, desired outcomes (including any publication plans), and your qualifications for research (including your academic experience, relevant language skills, and any past publications).  Grants are competitive and will be awarded on a rolling basis.  The best way to reach us is through the “Contact” page on this website.

Other resources

“No Ordinary Heroes”: TEDx Talk by Tanja Magaš, March 2019

Chair of the Weidner Foundation Board, Tanja Magaš, shares the story of the Dutch-Paris Escape Line in a March 2019 TEDx talk in Sarajevo. She challenges listeners to follow John Weidner’s example of selfless service to others.  In addition to her leadership role with the Weidner Foundation, Magaš has over a decade of experience working in financial services between New York, London and Dubai.  She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, an MA in International Relations from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Columbia University.