Dr. Dean Kruckeberg Honored with PRSA Gold Anvil Award

June 2022

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:

  • The Top Book Award from The Speech Communication Association (now the National Communication Association)
  • The 2016 NCA Award for Lifetime Contributions to PR
  • The 1995 Outstanding Educator Award from PRSA
  • The Jackson, Jackson and Wagner Research Prize
  • The Pathfinder Award from The Institute For PR
  • The Iowa Regents Faculty Award for Excellence
  • The Wartburg College Alumni Award
  • The PRSA Infinity Award
  • Induction Into the Rowan University PR Hall Of Fame
In terms of academic leadership directly in support of PR, he has held the following positions:
  • Chair of the PR Division of the International Communication Association
  • Chair of the PR Division of The Association for Education In Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Chair of the PR Division of the National Communication Association
  • Member of the AEJMC President's Advisory Council
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Public Relations
And that's not all.

"I worked tirelessly for about two years to complete my one book on global public relations," Alan said. "For comparison, Dean is the author or co-author of more than 75 books and book chapters. That includes five editions of the classic standard, This is PR. This is in addition to authoring or co-authoring more than 50 articles for peer-reviewed, scholarly journals."

I was honored to present Dr. Kruckeberg with the award on behalf of PRSA and the PRSA Charlotte chapter in recognition of his lifetime of service not only to the public relations and communications field, but also for his dedication to education and mentoring the next generation of public relations professionals. Please join me in congratulating him for this well-deserved honor.

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