From the press release:
Eminent, esteemed, wide-ranging, prolific-these are adjectives that have been aptly used to describe Nicholas Rescher and his contributions to the field of philosophy in a career that spans six decades, with nearly a half century of those years devoted to teaching and research at the University of Pittsburgh. In acknowledgement of his decades-long career at Pitt, Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, is donating his massive collection of materials on philosophy to the University's Hillman Library. In turn, the University is honoring Rescher for his lifetime of achievement and devotion to the University with the establishment of the Dr. Nicholas Rescher Fund for the Advancement of the Department of Philosophy, which will include a prestigious biennial award, the Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy.
Income from the Rescher Fund will be used to achieve key initiatives of the Department of Philosophy and to establish the Nicholas Rescher Prize. Awarded biennially, the prize will recognize an individual “for distinguished contributions to philosophical systematization” and include a gold medal, a $25,000 award, and an invitation to the University to deliver a lecture. Currently there is no major recognition in the field of philosophy, says Rescher, that is even remotely akin to the Field Medal in mathematics; the Pulitzer Prize in journalism, letters, and the arts; or the Nobel Prize in the sciences, medicine, economics, and literature.
The prize-to be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2010-reflects the seriousness of Pitt's commitment to philosophy. “It is our aspiration that the new Rescher Prize will become recognized as the most prestigious award in the field of philosophy, emphasizing the life's work and contributions to philosophy by a preeminent, world-renowned figure,” Maher said.