AMES, Iowa -- Wayne P. Davis, a former community newspaper publisher and past Iowa State University public relations staff member and journalism instructor, will receive the 2005 James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication.
The Schwartz Award is the highest honor conferred by Iowa State's Greenlee School. Members of the school's advisory council and faculty nominate candidates to a pool from which finalists are drawn. The faculty select a winner from those finalists.
Davis will be presented the award at the Greenlee School's annual alumni homecoming reception Saturday, Oct. 22.
"Homecoming is always special," said Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School. "But this year will be more so because the school is planning events around that date for its year-long Centennial celebration."
Davis holds bachelor's degrees from Principia College, Elsah, Ill., and the University of Missouri, Columbia. His first newspaper job was as news editor for the Albia Times-Republican and the Monroe County News. From 1942-1945, he leased and published The Moravia Union.
After Army service near the end of and following World War II, Davis worked briefly at the Mille Lacs Messenger in northern Minnesota. From 1947-1977, he published The Seymour Herald. In 1971, he and his wife, Jeanne, (deceased 1975) received the Master Editor-Publisher Award from the Iowa Press Association (now the Iowa Newspaper Association) -- the first couple to be so honored.
After 30 years at the helm of the Herald, Davis joined the Iowa State Center staff with responsibilities in public relations, marketing and sales. During that time, he completed the course work for a master's degree in journalism and mass communication.
After retiring from the center in 1987, he finished his thesis, received his degree and joined the faculty of the department of journalism and mass communication part-time in 1988. He remained on staff through the time of the founding of the Greenlee School in 1998.
Davis currently serves as an honorary member of the Greenlee School Advisory Council. He lives in Ames.
"Nothing could have prepared me for the news of my selection to receive the Schwartz Award from the Greenlee School," Davis said. "But, I have always been ready to sing the praises of Iowa State's journalism program since I was able to reap its benefits, both as a student and as a 10-year part-time faculty member and staffer."
James Schwartz was chair of Iowa State University's journalism department from 1965 to 1977. The Schwartz Award has been presented since 1978 to leaders in journalism and related fields. They include four Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished broadcast journalists, authors, advertising and public relations executives, newspaper and magazine publishers, and leading writers in a variety of specialty areas.
Previous Schwartz Award winners include Hugh Sidey, former TIME magazine White House correspondent; Roy Reiman, founder of Reiman Publications; Terry Anderson, former Associated Press Middle East bureau chief; Kevin and Mollie Cooney, KCCI-TV anchors and reporters; Herb Plambeck, America's first full-time farm broadcaster; Chris Adams, investigative reporter for Knight Ridder's Washington bureau; and Bill Monroe, executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association, Des Moines.