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David Ferguson Award

The David Ferguson Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of public relations education on the part of public relations professionals. The award honors the late David Ferguson, APR, Fellow PRSA, in recognition of his outstanding support to public relations education as PRSA president in 1985 and co-chair of the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee.

Ferguson recognized the importance of public relations education to the profession and helped to establish the five public relations course rule for creating and maintaining a PRSSA Chapter Charter. Identifying the equivalency of a major, specifically public relations course content, contributed to the importance of public relations faculty and enhanced the support being provided to such faculty.

Ferguson’s leadership established the PRSA Certification program. This program enabled universities with public relations programs outside of journalism to achieve program review and those within journalism to have the benefit of an in-depth review by teams entirely comprising public relations professionals and faculty. The review process allowed reporting to top university administration as to the status of the program. The award recognizes practitioners who have shown a commitment to public relations education similar to Ferguson’s.

Call for Nominations for the David Ferguson Award


Clear past and current evidence of outstanding service and commitment to public relations education through service to PRSA and other professional organizations; university public relations advisory boards, educational committees, commissions, and foundation boards; PRSSA national / district / chapter advisory, speaker programs and national/district conference programs committees; and/or PRSA national / district / chapter committees and programs related to the needs of education.

Past Winners of the David Ferguson Award
  • David W. Brown
  • Harold Burson, APR, Fellow PRSA 
  • E. Ronald "Ron" Culp, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Del Galloway, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Richard Edelman
  • Jack Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Kim L. Hunter
  • Patrick Jackson, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Kathleen L. Lewton, M.H.A., M.S.J., Fellow PRSA
  • Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., APR
  • Gary McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA 
  • Mickey Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Frank Ovaitt, APR
  • Scott Pansky
  • John Paluszek, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Isobel Parke, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Judith Turner Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Betsy Plank, APR, FellowPRSA
  • Ron Rhody, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Jon Riffel, APR
  • Rhoda Weiss, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Mary Beth West, APR