Distinguished Alumnus Award

Each year, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism is proud to honor exceptional alumni through presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Alumni Association Awards Gala.  This award recognizes alumni for outstanding achievements, contributions to their industries or professions and/or service to the community.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award does more than honor its recipients. It further illustrates the value of Merrill’s academic programs and increases the pride we all have for Merrill College and the University of Maryland.  It also demonstrates and celebrates the power of the Maryland experience and recipients serve as examples for future Merrill College students.

Philip Merrill College of Journalism
Distinguished Alumni

2013 Mi-Ai Parrish, '92
Kansas City Star President and Publisher
2012 Lori Beecher, '87
Producer for Katie Couric's syndicated talk show "Katie"
2011 Amal Mudallali, Ph.D. '97
American Policy Advisor for the Prime Minister of Lebanon
2009 Mei Xu, M.A. '92
Owner of Pacific Trade International (Chesapeake Bay Candle and Bliss Living)
2008 Connie Chung '69
Broadcast Journalist
2007 Emory K. Kristof '64
Photographer-in-Residence, National Geographic
2006 Jay A. Kernis '74
Senior Vice President/Programming, National Public Radio
2005 Ralph Crosby '56
CEO, Crosby Marketing Communications
2004 DeWayne Wickham '74
Columnist, USA Today and Gannett News Service
2003 Jane Healy '71
Vice President/Editorial Page Editor, Orlando Sentinel
2001 Jerome M. Ceppos '69
Vice President/News, Knight Ridder



Former students who meet the following criteria will be considered for selection:

  • Professional Achievement – Candidates should have attained prominence in their chosen careers and their work should form a record of accomplishment.
  • Service – Candidates should demonstrate commitment to service through an interest in bettering the lives of others through volunteer efforts.
  • Integrity and Character – Candidates should exhibit personal integrity and character.


Nomination Process

To be considered, all nominations must be received by Friday, March 22, 2013 and include:

  • Completed Award Nomination Form (available here)
  • A letter of recommendation (not to exceed 2 pages) addressing significant accomplishments that qualify the individual for this award
  • Other relevant supporting documents not to exceed five pages


Nominations for the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award must be received by March 22.  Please send nominations to:

Alums@jmail.umd.edu           or         Distinguished Alumnus Award
                                                           Philip Merrill College of Journalism
                                                           University of Maryland
                                                           2200-G Knight Hall
                                                           College Park, MD 20742


Selection Process

The dean reviews nominations and selects a candidate to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award.