Taft Award

In 1981, Dr. Robert Knight, then director of MIPA, nominated Associate Dean William H. Taft of the Missouri School of Journalism for a special award for his continuing and outstanding service to scholastic journalism.

Taft had evaluated more than 10,000 yearbooks for MIPA, thousands of books for National School Yearbook Association; directed two editions of a Newspaper Fund Summer Institute; served as director of Summer Media Workshop; developed a correspondence study version of Journalism 380 “High School Journalism;” plus wrote helpful articles for the MIPA News-gram and spoke at MIPA events. It was decided at that time that the special award would be named the “Taft Award.”

To continue this tradition of recognizing excellence and dedication, we hope you will nominate any person or group giving outstanding service to scholastic journalism and/or to MIPA-MJEA by completing this online nomination form by Friday, Feb. 5, 2022.

The honoree and/or the nominator will be invited to prepare a 30-second acceptance video to run at the spring Journalism Day on the MU campus.

Past honorees include:

  • 1982 H. L. Hall, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood
  • 1983 Ron Clemons, Truman High School, Independence
  • 1984 Earl English, Dean Emeritus, School of Journalism
  • 1985 Helen Brakke-Buel, Jefferson City Senior High School, Jefferson City
  • 1986 UMC Extension Division
  • 1987 Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists
  • 1988 Barbie Mankey, School of Journalism
  • 1989 Molly Clemons, then: Palmer Junior High School, Independence
  • 1990 Virginia Woodring, Springfield
  • 1991 Howard Emerson, Hazelwood School District, Florissant
  • 1992 Dr. Robert P. Knight (given posthumously)
  • 1993 Elizabeth Lockhart, Cape Girardeau
  • 1994 Kathy Craghead, Mexico High School, Mexico
  • 1995 Mary Lu Foreman, Kansas City
  • 1996 Sandy Newcomer, Macks Creek High School, Macks Creek
  • 1997 Opal Eckert, Retired
  • 1998 Bill Hankins, Oak Park High School, Kansas City
  • 1999 Dean Mills, Dean, Missouri School of Journalism
  • 2000 Bruce Schneider, Parkway South High School, Chesterfield
  • 2001 Diane Boyle, Parkway Central High School, Chesterfield
  • 2002 Missouri Press Association and Doug Crews, Executive Director
  • 2005 John G. “Jack” Hodgson, Oklahoma State University
  • 2006 Karen Black, Hickman Mills High School, Kansas City
  • 2008 Susan Newburger, Park Hill South High School, Kansas City
  • 2009 John Kelley, Walsworth Publishing
  • 2010 Marc Russell, Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit
  • 2011 Nancy Freeman, Clayton High School, St. Louis
  • 2012 Minerva Howard, Columbia
  • 2015 Christina Geabhart, Oak Park High School, Kansas City; and Michelle Turner, Washington High School, Washington
  • 2016 Donald Johnson, Webster Groves High School, Webster Groves
  • 2017 Megan Palmer, Park Hill South High School, Riverside
  • 2018 Bob Bergland, Ph.D., journalism professor at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph
  • 2019 Ben Merithew, Fort Osage High School
  • 2020 Leigh Rogers, Hermann High School
  • 2021 – TBD
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Taft Award