The Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service (or Common Wealth Awards) were created under the will of the late Ralph Hayes, an influential American business executive and philanthropist. Hayes conceived the awards to reward and encourage the best of human performance worldwide. Hayes served on the board of directors of PNC Bank, Delaware's predecessor banks from 1935 to 1965. Through the Common Wealth Awards, he sought to recognize outstanding achievement in eight disciplines: dramatic arts, literature, science, invention, mass communications, public service, government and sociology. The awards also provide an incentive for people to make future contributions to the world community.
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