Established in 1914, the Award of Distinction was to recognize the 29 sisters who served overseas in World War I. In 1924, the criteria was broadened to include sisters who had given “constructive service to the Fraternity.” Marian McDowell was the first to receive the new award in 1926. At the 1935 National Convention, each of the four living Founders were presented an award. Nellie Gamble Childe's award was donated to the national archives upon her death. The award was designed by Hungarian-American sculptor Julio Kilenyi.