Gordon H. Pettengill was honored as the recipient of the Charles A. Whitten Medal at AGU's Spring Meeting in Baltimore on May 28, 1997. The award is given for outstanding achievements in research on the form and dynamics of the Earth and the planets. The citation and Pettengill's response are given here.
“Rock solid” is the best description of Gordon Pettengill's research. Always in the forefront, never trivial, Gordon's publications set the highest standards for scientific content and clarity of presentation. His preparation was equally solid, from an undergraduate physics education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to graduate school in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, with only a brief interlude partly spent in Europe in 1944—1945 settling a certain conflict there.