The William Christian Krumbein Medal was established in 1976 during the XXV International Geological Congress in Sydney. The medal measures 96 millimeters in diameter and contains slightly over 500 grams of bronze. The bust of Krumbein is on the front side of the medal, and the Association's logo is on the reverse side. The medal was designed by sculptor Abbot Pattison, a graduate from the Yale School of Fine Arts. Casting of the medals has been done at the Fonderia Artistica Ferdinando Marinelli in Florence, Italy, in three batches in 1977, 1980, and 1999. In addition to the medal, recipients receive a plaque with the recipient's name and date of the award. Until 1996 the prize was awarded annually, biennially since then.
Krumbein was a founding officer of the Association. Born at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in January, 1902, Krumbein attended the University of Chicago, receiving the degree of bachelor of philosophy in business administration in 1926, an MS in geology in 1930, and a PhD in geology in 1932. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1933 to 1942, advancing from instructor to associate professor. During World War II, from 1942 until 1945, he served in Washington, D.C. with the Beach Erosion Board of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Following a short stint with Gulf Research nd Development Company immediately after the end of the war, he joined Northwestern University in 1946, serving there until mandatory retirement in 1970. He was named the William Deering Professor of Geological Sciences in 1960. Krumbein died on August 18, 1979, a few months after Syracuse University had awarded him a DSc (honoris causa). At his memorial service, former Northwestern colleague Larry Sloss said of Krumbein "that by constitutionally rejecting conventional wisdom, he continually pursued innovative methods whereby the natural phenomena of geology could be expressed with mathematical rigor."
2004 : Ricardo Olea