Inaugurated in 1992 by Friends of Catholic Education, the John McElroy Award is given annually to recognize individuals whose actions or achievements have advanced Catholic school education throughout Frederick, Maryland and Frederick County. The award itself is a bas relief plaque created by noted artist and muralist William M. Cochran. Mr. Cochran's design features the profiles of two young children. Encircling the children is the following inscription: "If you want to touch the past, touch a stone. If you want to touch the present, touch a rose. If you want to touch the future, teach a child." Highlighting the plaque is a brass plate with the recipient's name.