Pete du Pont Freedom Award

Postponed: New date will be announced later this year.

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MBNA has been named the 2021 Freedom Award Winner

The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation has selected MBNA as this year’s recipient of its esteemed Freedom Award. The award ceremony was scheduled to be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at the Hotel du Pont. A new date will be announced later this year.

For the first time, the Foundation has chosen to honor a business rather than an individual. Accepting the prestigious award on behalf of the MBNA legacy entity are MBNA legacy leaders: John Cochran, Lance Weaver and Bruce Hammonds.

“This honoree captures both my father’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurial innovation and the priority he placed on job growth,” said Thère du Pont. “The 1981 Financial Center Development Act was the centerpiece of his efforts to attract employers to Delaware by creating an innovative regulatory environment. MBNA, displaying both courage and vision, was one of the first to take advantage of the FCDA and immediately created a distinctive culture wrapped around service to the customer and generosity to the local community.  Its impact on Delaware continues to this day and one wonders whether any of that would have happened without the vision shared by my father and MBNA’s leaders,” he added. “The Freedom Award is held in downtown Wilmington in the hopes that attendees will support local restaurants by having dinner beforehand or after the event,” said du Pont.

John Cochran

Lance Weaver

Bruce Hammonds

About the Pete du Pont Freedom Award

The Pete du Pont Freedom Award is presented annually to an individual or organization who has championed a successful idea which has led to economic growth or brought innovation to the private sector. The award honors one of Delaware’s finest leaders, the late former Governor Pete du Pont, who delivered Delaware from harsh fiscal times into an age of vibrant economic growth by working with the legislature, business and community leaders, and educators. The Pete du Pont Freedom Award event serves as a key fundraising effort to help support the Foundation’s work to identify and bring to life bold and innovative ideas to make Delaware a better place to live, work, and raise a family. As an added bonus, the ceremony will recognize the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3) Alumni and include a progress report on the Reinventing Delaware competition, recognize the most recent winners, and celebrate the top ideas.

Sponsorship Opportunities are Available

Each sponsorship opportunity includes a corresponding number of complimentary tickets as well as inclusion in the event program, and mentions in event publicity. 

Click Here to view a full list of the sponsorship opportunities available, or contact Stephanie Johnnie at to learn more. 

Tickets are on sale now: Click to purchase your ticket(s). 

Among the too numerous frustrations of the political process is that a lot of smart and talented people spend their time and energy fulminating about things that don’t really matter. That diverts attention from our nation’s real problems.
- Governor Pete du Pont

Charlie Horn
Carol Ammon
Dr. Mehmet Oz
Mike Castle
Ellen Kullman
Chris Christie
Steve Forbes
Rudy Giuliani
Newt Gingrich
George Will

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

If interested in Sponsoring the Pete du Pont Freedom Award please contact Stephanie Johnnie at

Tickets are on sale now

Patriot Members receive complimentary admission with one complimentary guest. Registration is still required.

Young Professional Members receive reduced admission for themselves and one guest.

General Admission is $200 per person.

To purchase your tickets, Click Here.