At the 2013 national conference of the National Association of Scholars, "A Mighty Maze," on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Harvard Club in New York, the NAS presented the Sidney Hook Memorial Award to Midge Decter. Herbert London, NAS's chairman, conferred the award to Decter, whom he called "the presiding spirit" of the NAS when it was first founded in 1987. Dr. London characterized Sidney Hook, for whom the award is named, as "a man who was blessed with extraordinary moral courage."
On receiving the award, Decter said that "if I were to have my way, it would be I standing in Herb's place, and rather than receiving this honor, bestowing a medal on the National Association of Scholars, and on the medal would be engraved the words, 'For the true heirs of Sidney Hook, the battered but never beaten watchman at the gates of intellectual decency.'"
The award is granted to an individual for distinguished contributions to the defense of academic freedom and the integrity of academic life. Previous recipients of the Sidney Hook Memorial Award were James S. Coleman (1990), Fang Li-Zhi (1991), Donald Kagan (1994), Wilcomb Washburn (1996), Thomas Sowell (1997), Gertrude Himmelfarb (1999), Eugene Genovese (2001), Harvey Mansfield (2002), Stanley Rothman (2004), Robert P. George (2006), and Ward Connerly (2009).