Fred Sawyer, in cooperation with the North American Sundial Society, established a continuing yearly award, the Sawyer Dialing Prize to be presented by NASS to an individual for accomplishments in or contributions to dialing or the dialing community. Each year a panel makes recommendations of those people who have significantly contributed to the art of dialing by their dialing art, their ability to teach and educate, their superb craftsmanship, their care in dial restoration, or in their gnomonic skills in design and computer programming tools for others.
At each North American Sundial Society conference since 2000, the winner is announced and awarded with a certificate of recognition, a small trophy sundial, and a cash award of $200. Many of the awardees have chosen to use their cash award to help further the art of dialing by donating it to others, increasing the scope of sundialing around the world. Funding for this award has come from the Sawyer family with a 50% matching donation by NASS.
The certificate and trophy dial presented to each recipient are inscribed with the Greek letters ZHΘI. The ancient Greeks used the letters of their alphabet as numerals. When the hours of a dial were to be numbered from dawn to sunset, the numerals used were A, B, Γ, Δ, E, S, Z, H, Θ, I, IA, and IB for the successive hour intervals. By chance, the sequence from the seventh through the tenth hour (i.e. noon through mid-afternoon) spells a Greek word ZHΘI, the second person singular imperative meaning: Live! The Greeks carried this thought further, and an epigram on the certificate, attributed to Lucian - a second century Greek satirist - exhorts:
The first three Sawyer Dialing prize recipients received a Universal Equatorial Dials designed and crafted by Tony Moss of Lindisfarne Sundials, UK. [Tony is now retired and the last of the Lindisfarne Sundials has been made.] The dial can be set for any latitude and is a special edition containing the NASS logo and the imperative ZHΘI.
Since 2003, Sawyer Dialing prize recipients have received Spectra Sundials crafted by Jim Tallman. Hundreds of Spectra Sundials can be located around the world at The World of Artisan Sundials - Spectra Sundial Locations Worldwide . The unique design of each Sawyer Dial is given as an html link at the bottom of each award description.
In recognition of Frederick W. Sawyer’s effort as president of The North American Sundial Society, editor of NASS’s journal The Compendium, and for giving his time and talent to sundial design and the promotion of sundialing around the world, NASS commissioned Tony Moss to design and craft a sundial for Fred.
The horizontal dial was presented at the 2001 annual NASS conference. It has a gold-plated hand-pierced gnomon with his initials that is set on a phosphor bronze plate engraved for his home latitude.
This year's Sawyer Dialing prize was awarded to Gianpiero Casalegno at the NASS annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The certificate recognizes Gian for "his achievements in harnessing modern digital technology to the benefit of traditional dialists around the world - 18 Aug 2018."
Gian was not able to attend the conference to receive the Sawyer Award, so Fred Sawyer read the certificate to NASS attendees and forwarded the award certificate and a custom made Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials to Gian in Italy. Gian chose to use the traditional cash prize of $200 to support the Bellingham Mural Sundial.
Gian prepared an acceptance speech that was read by Sawyer. Gian's began his talk with "My main contribution to gnomonics has been the development of several software programs [including Orologi Solari available to all at http://www.sundials.eu/download/download_enu.html] to help other people dealing with sundial design, simulation and restoration. Therefore today I would like to present a survey of my programs highlighting some unique aspects that could have been neglected or underestimated by most people."
This year's Sawyer Dialing prize was awarded to Roger Bailey at the NASS annual conference in Portland, ME. The certificate recognizes Roger for "consistently showing the dialing community that all you need to know in life can be learned from studying sundials, and for using that study to advance the theory and practice of dialing."
Fred Sawyer presented Roger with an award certificate, the traditional cash prize of $200 and a custom made Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials.
On receiving the award Roger's presentation was "That is a Good Question". Here he pointed out that most of his achievements in the art and science of dialing was sparked by answering good questions, questions like the shadow lengths or the time and direction of sunrise sunset on analemmatic sundials or time systems on Islamic sundials. The theme was "Ask and you shall receive". He remains open to good questions.
Ing. Gianni Ferrari was awarded the 2015 Sawyer Dialing prize, with his certificate acknowledging: "for his long career educating the dialing community about the nearly forgotten heritage of ancient Islamic gnomonics and the wide variety of modern analytically developed sundials." Since 2000 Gianni has contributed nearly 30 articles to the NASS Compendium, enriching dialists' knowledge around the world. Recently he published the books Le Meridiane Dell'Antico Islam (Sundials of Ancient Islam) and Formule e metodi per lo studio degli orologi solari piani - Caratteristiche, descrizione e calcolo degli orologi solar paini comuni e pop conosciuti (Formulae and methods for the study of flat sundials - with characteristics, descriptions and calculations of common and less known sundials). Gianni's acceptance presentation for the conference was on "Forgotten Dialing Formulas" using versines. The versine trigonometric function was engraved on ancient quadrants, forming the small arcs "versus" and "rectus" that were used for solving the Astronomical Triangle to derive solar azimuth and hour angle time. Those that have learned to navigate with a sextant may indeed remember using half versines or "haversines" tables. His presentation is in the September 2015 issue of the NASS The Compendium. Gianni was not able to attend the NASS Conference in Victoria, but sent greetings from Italy. He asked that NASS donate the $200 prize money to benefit an appropriate dialing cause. Like other dialing prize recipients, he received a Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials. Gianni's dial was designed for his home in Modena, Italy at 44o 34' N 10o 51' E.
At the 2014 NASS Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, Fred Sawyer announced this year’s Sawyer Dialing Award is given to Robert Kellogg, “who, through his constant outreach, his unflagging support of NASS, and his technical ingenuity, as evidenced by his invention of the digital sundial, has helped to usher dialing into the modern age.”
Bob designed and patented a digital sundial based on sunbeam projection, first considered when he was at the US Naval Postgraduate School. But it took more than a decade for those ideas to gel into a firm technical form and a US Patent.
Bob continues to write “Sundials for Starters”, a regular column for NASS's Compendium. Over the last several years he has organized the joint NASS-Analemma Society outreach at the US Science and Engineering Festival and has brought sundialing to Montgomery County Schools in Maryland for the last 20 years.
Fred Sawyer presented Bob with an award certificate, the traditional cash prize of $200 and a custom made Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials.
André Bouchard received the 2013 Sawyer Dialing prize at the Boston NASS Conference “In recognition of two decades of promoting, preserving, extending and exemplifying the pairimoine of Québecois of dialing and gnomonics.”
During the first 15 years of the CCSQ (la Commission des Cadrans solaires du Québec) André made numerous presentations on gnomonics, adopting objective and descriptive ways in order to highlight the specific elements of particular dials and dialist styles. Now as editor of The Gnomonist / Le Gnomoniste, André is rediscovering the fundamentals of philosophy through sundials, showing that they merge both in time, place, casting symbolic meaning and beauty within their surrounding. André illustrated this by discussing the design of the 2008 sundial on the shore of the St. Laurence River at Point aux Outardes Park near Baie-Comeau, where the polar gnomon and its supports simulate bull rushes, augmented by a flight of geese.
Fred Sawyer presented André with an award certificate, the traditional cash prize of $200 and a custom made Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials.
The 2012 Sawyer Dialing Prize was awarded to Frank King at the annual NASS Conference in Asheville, North Carolina.
The award is given “In recognition of his innovative mathematical and astronomical solutions to problems encountered in the modern design of notable sundials.” Dr. King is Council Chairman of the British Sundial Society, Senior Lecturer of the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Churchill College where he is Chairman of the Churchill Archives Committee and Praelector. At Cambridge he also holds the responsibility of the University Bellringer, “one of the University’s most ancient and unusual posts” with the job of keeping the University Clock telling correct time.
He has designed many sundials including the vertical dial with Italian and Babylonian hours for Selwyn College, Cambridge (a new dial for Old Court), the Pembroke College vertical sundial, the noon mark wall analemma at 10 Paternoster Square in London, the unusual near-horizontal gnomon sundial as a memorial dial for Margaret Stanier, the analemmatic dial for Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee (2002) and the circular analemmatic dial for the MetroTransit Authority (Metropolitana) of Naples.
Frank was presented with a cash prize of $200 and a custom made Spectra Sundial by Jim Tallman of Artisan Industrials.