After a brief delay due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was honored to be part of the celebration to recognize Dr. Dean Kruckeberg, APR, Fellow PRSA, for receiving PRSA's highest individual award, the Gold Anvil. PRSA announced the award in October during ICON 2021. However, the event was virtual, so while thousands of us were cheering for him in front of our computer screens, he was not able to receive the in-person pomp and circumstance to which he is entitled.
On April 19, he received the statue as well as much-deserved praise and a little fun ribbing during a lunch at the Hyatt Centric SouthPark in Charlotte.
Guests included PRSA Charlotte chapter members, Dr. Kruckeberg's friends and colleagues, and an impressive group of PRSA Fellows and previous Gold Anvil recipients Dr. Debra Miller, who received the Gold Anvil in 2006, and Joe Epley, who received the Gold Anvil in 2008. Debra and Joe are former PRSA national chairs and like Dean, are members of the PRSA College of Fellows.
Dr. Alan Freitag, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Philip Tate, APR, Fellow PRSA, organized the event and shared their thoughts about the honor.
Philip reminisced about the efforts to bring Dr. Kruckeberg to UNC Charlotte, which included a request for PRSA Charlotte to host a reception to introduce Dr. Kruckeberg to the public relations professionals in the community. The chapter agreed and was thrilled when Dr. Kruckeberg made the move from the University of Northern Iowa to Charlotte, bringing an already-impressive list of achievements and continuing to add to those in the years since.
"I recently reviewed Dean's professional biography or curriculum vitae," Philip said. "It runs nearly 70 pages and contains nearly 100 references to PRSA, which covers his leadership to our profession, speaking at professional and academic conferences, writing articles in PRSA Strategies and Tactics and many academic journals, moderating panels at PRSA chapter events, advising PRSSA student chapters the list literally goes on and on."
Alan also acknowledged Dr. Kruckeberg's impressive CV, noting the 67-page document is a highly condensed summary of Dr. Kruckeberg's academic body of work. He earned a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from Wartburg College in Iowa, a master's in journalism and PR from Northern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Iowa.
The Gold Anvil is far from the first significant award Dr. Kruckeberg has received, Alan noted, sharing this impressive list: