Three honorees receive Page Center awards for integrity in public communications

Jonathan F. McVerry
January 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The fourth annual Arthur W. Page Center Awards will honor Gene Foreman, former managing editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and visiting professor at Penn State; Ginger Hardage, former senior vice president of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines; and Thomas Kean Sr., former New Jersey governor.

The renowned communicators will receive a Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication at a special awards dinner, which will be at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel in New York City. To learn more or to register for a table or seat, visit the Page Center website

The Larry Foster Award recognizes work by professionals in the journalism, public relations, business and public service sectors. The dinner showcases the importance of integrity in these fields and has become a marquee night that honors communicators who have committed long careers to the concept of “truth well told."

"Honoring these committed men and women is a way to shine a light on ethical, truthful communication.”

— Denise Bortree, director, Arthur W. Page Center, Penn State

Foreman, a seasoned journalist who managed the Philadelphia Inquirer’s newsroom for 25 years, literally "wrote the book" on journalism ethics. The Inquirer earned 18 Pulitzer Prizes during Foreman’s tenure with the newspaper, and he spent much of his retirement teaching newswriting, editing and ethics in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. In 2009, he wrote “The Ethical Journalist,” which provides aspiring reporters the tools they need to apply ethics to their work.

Hardage’s career has become synonymous with integrity and corporate culture change. For 25 years, she served as a member of Southwest Airline’s leadership team. She not only built a positive organizational structure internally, Hardage also helped create a reputation for Southwest that transcended to all of the company’s stakeholders; her forward-thinking dedication and integrity helped Southwest to become a highly respected company worldwide.

Kean served as New Jersey’s 48th governor from 1982 to 1990. While in office, he became one of the most popular governors in the state’s history, focusing on improving race relations, education, health and the environment. In 2002, Kean was selected to lead the 9/11 Commission, which was responsible for putting together a detailed overview of how the United States prepared for and responded to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

 “The Page Center Awards integrate all areas of public communication by emphasizing the single most important component of our industry — integrity,” said Page Center Director Denise Bortree. “Every day we see the impact misinformation can have on society, so honoring these committed men and women is a way to shine a light on ethical, truthful communication.”

Over the awards’ four-year history, honorees have represented a range of areas, from global corporations to public television. During the event, they share their stories and advice with guests. In addition, communications researchers and practitioners have a chance to network, and center representatives share current and upcoming research initiatives. 

“Each honoree inspires us in a different way, and I think it’s important for young communicators as well as seasoned CCOs to see how far-reaching and influential ethical decision-making can be,” said Bill Nielsen, center advisory board chair and former corporate vice president of public affairs at Johnson & Johnson. “It’s important to keep moving forward and showcasing how integrity benefits everyone.”

Registration and event information can be found on the Page Center website. Visit the awards archive page for more information about past events and honorees.

About the Arthur W. Page Center

Located in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State, the Page Center is a research center that advances integrity in corporate and public communications. It was founded by Larry Foster, Penn State alumnus and the namesake of the Center’s integrity award. With support from the more than 20 companies in attendance, the dinner raises funds for the innovative communications research conducted by Page Center scholars.

The center’s research projects aim to build the scholarly and public understanding of ethics in communications, to date funding more than 250 scholars and awarding more than $870,000 in research funding. Areas of focus include corporate social responsibility, digital ethics, sustainability communication, advocacy, fake news and more.

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Last Updated January 22, 2020