Unique in the Swiss-American tradition...the Stratton Prize

It is said that Julius Stratton, a young MIT grad student, returned from his studies at the University of Zürich in 1927 with two things…a Doctor of Science degree and a life-changing exposure to Swiss humanistic thought… both of which shaped the man and informed his work when he became President of MIT, a position he held from 1959 to 1966. And in that capacity, Stratton did indeed lead the establishment of a place for the Humanities at this Science & Technology Institute…and it was this commitment of Julius Stratton that captured the attention of Friends of Switzerland founder Dr. Freddy Homburger.

In Dr. Stratton he saw the bridge between those cultures…an intercultural achiever who could wear the mantle of the first Julius Adams Stratton Prize and give life to an award “intended to stress cultural, humanistic, and humanitarian values in this age of scientific and technological progress.” In his remarks at the inaugural award ceremony, Freddy spoke of a dichotomy of cultures in the U.S. at the time...science, one the one hand, worryingly defense driven in his view, and the humanities, and the need to weave the strands of ethical teachings into science and technology in order to achieve a “harmonious and peaceful world.” Thus was born the Stratton Prize. And since 1966, it has been awarded to a list of Laureates that reads like a who's who in intercultural achievement, with winners hailing from diverse fields that include the arts & humanities, academics, science and medicine, diplomacy, government, and business. Below is a representative sampling, and the full list of Stratton Laureates appears to the right:

  • 1970, Bradford Washburn/ explorer, mountaineer, photographer, founder of Boston's Museum of Science

  • 1977, Charles Draper/ scientist founder of Charles Stark Draper labs

  • 1980, Randall Thompson/ eminent American composer

  • 1984, Victor Weisskopf/ physicist and promoter of peaceful uses of atomic energy

  • 1985, John Kenneth Galbraith/ economist and diplomat

  • 1998, Mary Davenport/ internationally acclaimed opera star

  • 1992, Roman Totenberg/ master violinist, teacher

  • 2016, Armin Hofmann/ a father of the highly impactful Swiss Style of graphic design

A Stratton Prize winner is selected annually from a list researched and compiled by the FOSI Board of Directors and submitted to the organization's distinguished Stratton Laureates for their vote of approval. Each year, our Stratton Prize honoree is invited to nominate a candidate to receive FOSI's Stratton Fellowship Grant. With support of a stipend and travel grant from FOSI, a young Stratton Fellow can study and explore their field of endeavor, either in Switzerland or in the U.S..  For more on the Stratton Fellowship, click here.

The annual Stratton Prize and stratton fellowship grant are  supported by an endowment and by the contributions of FOSI members and friends. Contributions are welcomed, and are tax-deductible. Learn more about donating to the Stratton Fund.


The 2018 Stratton Prize/ Honoring Ambassador Suzi LeVine and Eric LeVine…

2016 Stratton Prize/ Honoring Armin Hofmann, Christopher Pullman, and Philip Burton…

FOSI Stratton Laureates and Fellows 1966-2016

Stratton Laureate Stratton Fellow
1966 Julius Adams Stratton Hans Naef
1968 George W. Thorne Hans-Rudolph Durrenmatt
1969 Jerome Hunsaker John Adams
1970 Bradford Washburn Stephen Karon
1971 Werner Imhoof Wiscasset School District
1972 Michael Stettler Karei Olavsky
1973 Georges F. Doriot Martin Hurni
1974 Charles E. Mongan
1975 Ernst Huber Rudolph Knöpfli
1976 Alain B. Rossier Erika Strum
1977 Charles S. Draper Donald A. Keller
1978 Agnes Mongan Henry K. Stegemeier
1979 William D. Carter Albert Gallatin Foundation
1980 Randall Thompson David Francis Urrows
1981 Conrad H. Biber Robert S. Altman
George H. Büchi
Roger Jeanloz
1982 Carl Einsele Gerhard Stucki
Thomas Karger
1983 Bernard Brauchli Cambridge Soc. for Early Music
1984 Victor E. Weisskopf Rafel Carreras
1985 Philip J. McNiff Peter Wolf
1986 John Kenneth Galbraith Toni Siegrist
1987 Oscar Handlin Urs Hammer
1988 Irene Hischer Honegger Busch Reisinger Museum
1989 Bruno Thurlimann Aurelio Muttoni
1990 Blanch Honegger Moyse Zon Estes
1991 Freddy Homburger Andreas Werner
1992 Roman Totenberg Charles Fussell
1993 William J. Curran Sylvain Poitras
1994 Charles E. Ziegler Pete Hessler
1995 James H. Hutson Caspar Heer
1996 George Alessandria Zhen-Rong Wang
1997 Hans. J. Bär Kenneth M. Robertson
1998 Mary Davenport Wayne Hobbs
1999 Ruth Ruprecht Regina Hofmann
2000 Alfred Defago Gregory Fossedal
2001 Ernst Jost Oliver Muehlemann
Max Steinmann
2002 Faith Whittlesey J. Michael Waller
2003 Jane Swift Pierre Weill
Ralph Lewin
2004 Daniel Vasella
2005 Catherine N. Stratton Stacy Figueredo
2006 Angelo M. Codevilla Charles David Corbin
2007 Jeno C. A. Staehelin Ali Arbia
2008 John A. Shane Christina Rominger
2009 Douglas Sears Brent Bernkrant
2010 Hansjörg Wyss Martin Werner
2011 Josef H. von Rickenbach Kristian Johnson
2012 Iris Bohnet Gabriela Hertig
2013 Marc Redlich Anna DeGraff
2014 Steven G. Hoch Britta Voss
2015 Renata von Tscharner David Loutzenheiser
2016 Armin Hofmann Jonathan Mekinda
Chris Pullman
Philip Burton
2018 Suzi LeVine and Eric LeVine Krysti Specht
Orrian Willis