Order of Merit

Gladys Stone Wright, Project Chair

Sponsored by
Louis and Virginia Sudler

Administered by
The John Philip Sousa Foundation

Recognizing individuals who have made particularly outstanding contributions to the excellence of bands and band music at the national and international levels.


View Star of the Order Recipients
View Medal of Honor Recipients

The Sudler Order Of Merit has been established in four classes in keeping with international standards of laureate recognition.  The order includes the following:

Star of the Order
Medal of Honor
Badge of the Order
Diploma of the Order

    The Star of the Order is a four pointed star executed in red and white enamel on a gold medallion.  The cross is surrounded by a wreath of gold and suspended from a gold lyre.  The central disc bears the badge of the order.  the obverse bears a likeness of the sponsor, Louis Sudler, under which the name of the recipient and date of the award is engraved.  The cross is mounted on a red chest ribbon with a narrow blue and white stripe on each side.  A red, white and blue rosette is worn with informal attire.

    The Medal of Honor (also known as the Medal of the Order) is identical to the Star, except that it is executed in sterling silver with white and blue enamel.  It is mounted on a blue chest ribbon with two narrow white stripes on each side.  A blue and white rosette is worn with informal attire.

    The Badge of the Order is a three0fourths inch disc executed in bronze which bears the logo of the Sousa Foundation.  The obverse is plain.

    The Diploma of the Order is printed in four colors on heavy stock and carries the seal of the Sousa Foundation.  The diploma may be accompanied by the Badge when so authorized by the executive committee.


The selection of recipients is reserved to the executive committee of the Sousa Foundation.  Nominations are taken to the board of directors for guidance.  The executive committee receives nominations at any time and from any source.  Nominations are considered at an early convenience of the committee but not less frequently than annually.  A majority concurrence of the executive committee is necessary for approval.      The Star of the Order is reserved for particularly outstanding contributions and service to bands and band music at the international level.    The Medal of Order is awarded for outstanding service at the national level.  This award will also be made to the winner of the biennial Sudler Wind Band Composition Competition, a project also sponsored by Louis and Virginia Sudler and administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.    The Badge of Order is reserved for but not limited to recognition of student and staff membership in the Sousa International High School Honors Band which is organized biennially.

    The Diploma of Order is awarded to those significant contributiions to the activities and projects of the Sousa Foundation.

                   Louis and Virginia Sudler   

Through the generosity of Louis and Virginia Sudler, 
 The Sudler Flag of Honor awards were made possible.    Louis Sudler was a rare combination of successful business man, a performing artist, and a nationally known patron of the arts. He was the founder of the Chicago real estate firm, Sudler and Company; his urge for achievement in the business world was equaled only by his intense desire to assist and inspire talented young musicians.    Mr. Sudler appeared nationally as a soloist in concerts, oratorio, with symphony orchestras, with concert bands, at functions honoring five United States presidents, and as a recording artist. A baritone, he was a member of the Chicago Civic Opera.    Louis Sudler had long expressed his interest in the arts, not only as a successful performing musician but as a patron of the arts, vitally interested in recognizing outstanding accomplishments, particularly by students at the high school and college levels. He was founder and host of the Peabody award-winning television program, "Artist's Showcase," which ran for 14 years. He was internationally known for his leadership of The Orchestral Association of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and served on the boards of many art institutions in this country. Over the years he established scholarships and awards for young talented musicians through the Louis Sudler Foundation and the Sousa Foundation.

    His wife, Virginia Brown Sudler, was a patron of the arts, remained active in The John Philip Sousa Foundation, serving as Vice-President on the Executive Board until her death in 2003.

        Administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation

Gladys Stone Wright, Chair
345 Overlook Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906