There has been significant confusion between the EMC Society’s Honorary Life Member Award and the IEEE Life member grade. To alleviate this confusion, the Board of Directors has changed the name of the award to “EMC Society Honored Member Award” rather than “EMC Society Honorary Life Member Award”. The benefits have also been expanded to formally include complimentary registration at the annual symposia.
IEEE Life membership is a grade of membership automatically awarded to all IEEE members at the time that their age plus number of years of membership total 100 or more years. This is managed at the IEEE level and does not reflect any Society membership or activities. The EMC Society does recognize IEEE Life members’ long commitment by providing reduced rate symposium registration fees.
All those who previously received the former EMC Honorary Life Member Award did so for their outstanding service to the EMC Society. This was not automatic but a specific Society award. This award provided the person being honored with complimentary Society membership for life and a certificate. Complimentary symposium registration was not an official part of this award, rather it was a courtesy extended by the individual symposium chairs.
This outstanding achievement (Honorary Life) award was first given in 1970 to Rexford Daniels, who was a Founder of the EMC Society, served on the Administrative Committee, and among many other things, was a long standing editor of the Newsletter, from 1954 to 1968 (Issues 2–53).  These awards have been given out almost yearly since that time, sometimes to one individual, sometimes up to five individuals. Just recently, in 2008, eight awards were given; three to currently active members, and five to past active Founders. While some of the award recipients are also Life members of the IEEE, there are many who receive this award for outstanding service to the EMC Society who are not in that category. For further background on the history of the EMC Society awards, see the article in the EMC Society Newsletter, Issue No. 204 .
In summary, the EMC Society Honored Member Award is primarily a name change to avoid the above mentioned confusion; it maintains the existing benefits of the old EMC Life member award and adds complimentary registration to the annual symposium to the benefits. IEEE Life members who have not received the EMC Honorary Award will continue to receive reduced EMC Symposium registration rates. A letter will be sent shortly to all who have received the EMC Honorary Member award to personally notify them of these changes. If you have any questions, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hoolihan, Daniel D.; “EMC: A Brief History of the IEEE EMC Society”; Conformity, Jul 1, 2007.
Hoolihan, Daniel D.; “EMC Society Awards – An Historical Review”; IEEE EMC Society Newsletter, Winter 2005; Issue No. 204. EMC