Caroline Edwards (ABJ ’12) named Grady College Dean’s Medal recipient

Caroline Edwards (ABJ ’12) named Grady College Dean’s Medal recipient

April 03, 2023

The following is one installment of a series recognizing alumni and friends who will be honored at the 2023 Grady Salutes celebration on April 28, 2023. For more details, please see our posts about our Fellowship honorees and Alumni Award recipients.

Caroline Edwards poses for a photo with Hairy Dawg during a Relay for Life event.
Caroline Edwards poses for a photo with Hairy Dawg during a Relay for Life event.

Caroline Edwards (ABJ ’12), a private first class officer with the U.S. Capitol Police who responded to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, has been named the 2023 Dean’s Medal for Leadership Excellence recipient. 

Officer Edwards was the first police officer injured by the rioters while stationed at the West Front of the Capitol. She suffered a traumatic brain injury after being knocked unconscious. On June 9, 2022, Officer Edwards testified to the Jan. 6 House Select Committee. 

“Even after suffering a traumatic brain injury, Officer Edwards patrolled the Capitol’s West Plaza and prevented many rioters from entering the Capitol building. Her fearlessness, her courage and her devotion to duty embody the very best of us,” Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College, said. “The Dean’s Medal recognizes those who consistently go above and beyond to make Grady College shine. Caroline Edwards makes us all extremely proud.”

Officer Edwards is the first Dean’s Medalist recipient since 2017, when University of Georgia Broadcasting legend Loran Smith (ABJ ‘62) received the award. 

“I’ve always had a lot of pride in my school and where I came from,” said Edwards. “When I was reached out to about this award, it was a surprise. I was extremely honored and extremely touched that the Grady community thinks I’m a good representation, because that’s all that I’ve tried to be.”

Officer Edwards graduated from Grady College with a degree in public relations, an education that she said has had a great impact on her life, largely by helping her effectively tell her story. 

“The truth is so important,” said Edwards. “One part of the fight was on Jan. 6, but the other part of the fight was making sure the truth came out and that America was told my story, what I went through and what actually happened. And I think that Grady really taught me how to find that voice.”

Caroline Edwards honored by President Biden.
Caroline Edwards honored by President Biden.

Officer Edwards is highly regarded for her courage, both on Jan. 6 and during the days before and after the historic event. 

“Never underestimate yourself,” said Edwards. “Never underestimate what you’re capable of. If my 20-year-old self could see me as someone who spoke to 20 million people about something I did as a police officer, I don’t think she would recognize me.” 

“You don’t have to have complete confidence or a lack of fear to be able to do something. You just have to do it,” she added. “Courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, it is the ability to know that something is more important.” 

Officer Caroline Edwards will be awarded the Dean’s Medal at Grady Salutes on April 28, 2023, an evening also recognizing the 2023 class of inductees to the Grady Fellowship and the 2023 Alumni Award winners. 



Tickets to Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 28, 2023, are available for purchase. Register here.