In addition to supporting the hallmark goal of Franklin Pierce University—
to prepare its students to function well as citizens and leaders of a democratic society—the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication is dedicated to educating leaders of conscience in public communication, from the town hall to the nation’s Capitol.
The robust debate that is at the core of our nation’s democracy does not just happen. It requires commitment. The Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication is presented annually to those who have demonstrated a commitment to an electorate fluent in the issues of their time.
The national medallion. Established in 2004, the national medallion is presented to those who have dedicated their lives to serving our democracy at its very core. This Medallion is gold plated with a black ribbon.
Diane Rehm is an award-winning former American Public Radio talk show host and bestselling author. A native Washingtonian, Rehm hosted The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU and NPR for nearly 40 years, which grew from a local program to one with international reach and a weekly on-air audience of more than 2.8 million. She now carries on in podcast form, reporting on issues that matter most to her: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.2017 recipient
Director and Founder, Project for Excellence in Journalism
PEW Research Centers
Host of The Open Mind, PBS
President, Georgia First Amendment Foundation
Retired CNN Vice President and Senior Editorial Director
Former Host of The Diane Rehm Show
National Public Radio
Editor-in-Chief The Boston Herald
Journalist and Political Analyst Fox News
Director and Founder Project for Excellence in Journalism, PEW Research Centers
President and General Manager WMUR
Senior Political Correspondent CNN
News Correspondent-at-Large NBC
Press Secretary to the President
The White House
Political Editor, C-SPAN
President, White House Correspondents Association
The White House
Senior White House Correspondent
U.S. News & World Report
The Honorable Chuck Hagel
United States Senator for Nebraska
U.S. News & World Report
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
United States Department of DefenseU.S. News & World Report
In 2005, a second Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication was established to specifically honor those among the 18,000 alumnae of Franklin Pierce University who have demonstrated through their professional and/or personal lives a strong commitment to an electorate, whether at a local or a national level, fluent in the issues of their time. This medallion is silver plated with a black ribbon.
Erika McGowan ‘09
Second Unit Director/Assistant Director
Directors Guild of America
Robert M. Patterson ‘69
Founder, Chairman, President and CEO
The SPACECONNECTION, Inc.
Angie Wirtanen Ward ‘06
Associate Vice President
Digital Client Solutions at Carnegie Communications
Trent Spiner ‘08
New Hampshire Union Leader
Richard L. Goode ‘96
Associate Manager of Production Operations, ESPN
Genevieve McGillicuddy ‘94
Vice President, Turner Classic Movies
John Perry ‘92
Segment Producer, “The Dr. Phil Show”
Randell Kennedy ‘85
Owner, Academy Communications
Kathryn E. McNally Marro, D.A., ‘11
Advocate for the Elderly
Andrew Scher ‘88
Executive Producer, “The Doctors,” CBS
Marc Tieger ‘69
Moderator, Town of Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Co-founder and President, Tieger Realty Co., Inc.
David Schutzman ‘86
Chief Marking Officer, Archstone Consulting
Thomas C. Crawford ’04 MBA
Chief Information Officer, Springfield Hospital
Kevin Bargo ‘01
Staff, Senator Judd Gregg
Therese Ledwith Fay ‘82
President, Media By Design
Additional annual awards, for contributions to the public discourse, are presented to up to two graduating students. These medallions are bronze with a black ribbon. The first were awarded in 2005.
Steven E. Dodrill
Trent E. Spiner
Stephen C. Lacey
Frank S. Blais
Kristen M. Costa
Samantha L. Debay
Marlin Fitzwater, recognizing the influence of his own high school teachers in his life, established an additional award for contributions to the public discourse for a high school teacher. This medallion is copper with a black ribbon. The first was awarded in 2006.
The Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications
Oyster River High School
Souhegan High School
ConVal High School
Mary Lukas DeWinkeleer
Londonderry High School
ConVal High School
Kingswood Regional High School
Concord High School
Pinkerton Academy, Derry
Manchester Central High School
Fitzwater Scholars who are invited into this competitive four-year mentoring and scholarship program as an entering freshman, and who are graduating with a grade point average of 3.0 or greater, are presented a copper medallion with a black ribbon. This academic award can be worn at graduation.
Valerie E. Armstrong
Ahmos Diaz Maldonado
Morgan A. Miller
Francesca Marie Santoro
The medallion is also presented in the following circumstances:
The Fry Lecture. A gold-plated medallion is presented to the lecturer, who also receives an honorarium.
Rita Cosby, Broadcast Journalist, Author
Ronald Kessler, Journalist, Author
Dr. Jeremy Cohen
Professor of media studies and associate vice president and senior associate dean for undergraduate education at Pennsylvania State University
Former leader, Cherokee Nation
Dr. Robert Moses
Civil rights activist; founder, Algebra Project
A gold-plated medallion has been presented to the following Board of Trustees members for their role in advancing the Fitzwater Center: Leslye Arsht, Marlin Fitzwater, and Peter Wensberg.
The Visiting Fitzwater Scholar: Two White House correspondents have been presented a gold-plated medallion: Ann Compton
and Terence Hunt. Both presentations were made at the conclusion of their Tuesday
Briefing, which was but one item in their busy three-day visit to campus.
The Presidency and The Press: A copper medallion is presented to one or more outstanding high school students who participate in the summer program.
On its face, the medallion features a relief portrait of Marlin Fitzwater, with the White House as a background. On the reverse, the University’s seal sits above a scroll engraved with the recipient’s name and year.
Pierce Media Group Leadership Cords: Graduating Seniors in good academic standing who have been members of Pierce Media Group for at least 6 semesters, including at least 2 semesters in a leadership role, are presented a burgundy/gold/silver cord. This award can be worn at graduation.
If all communication depends on our ability to transmit ideas from one person to another, let this Center spark the intellectual curiousity, the enthusiasm and the personal integrity to make every person who passes through these halls a beacon unto the world."
The Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication offers numerous programs that reach out to constituencies on campus, within the region and beyond to the national arena.
In addition, the Department of Communication is housed within the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication and offers degrees in Communication with concentrations in Journalism and Media Production as well as Media Studies, Sports Media, and Social Media and Emergent Technologies.
Learn more about the Center’s namesake, Marlin Fitzwater, who served as press secretary to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.