President Barack Obama will award Maya Lin, an Athens-born artist and designer, with one of the country’s highest civilian honors: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Lin will receive the award at the White House on Nov. 22 along with 20 other people, including Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, Cicely Tyson and Bill and Melinda Gates, according to a White House news release.
For her work on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., The American Institute of Architects awarded Lin the Twenty-Five Year Award in 2007, given to those who design "buildings that set a precedent." The institute also gave Lin, an Athens High School alumna, the Honor Award in 1984 as part of her work on the memorial with Cooper-Lecky Partnership.
Lin also designed “Input,” an art installation at Bicentennial Park meant to resemble a computer punch card.
Medal recipients are usually people who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to a news release from the White House.