I am deeply honored to introduce Colonel William Jennings Best as this year's recipient of the Union's Edward A. Flinn III Award. This award was established to recognize individuals who best personify the Union's motto of “unselfish cooperation in research” through their facilitating, coordinating, and implementing activities.

In the minds of all seismologists and others who have been associated with him over the years, Bill Best indeed personifies these ideals. The AGU received a truly impressive show of support for Bill's nomination. Over 50 geophysicists wrote eloquently to back Bill's nomination: some of these letters were from colleagues and friends who have known him for several decades, others were from much younger seismologists who still feel his influence on the field, even though they had no opportunity to interact with him directly; some came from government scientists, others from university professors, and still others from researchers in the private sector. This remarkable unanimity bears testimony to the respect and affection Bill has earned within the seismological community.