The Gold Anvil Award is PRSA’s highest individual honor recognizing lifetime achievement in public relations. It will be presented to Russell at PRSA’s international conference Oct. 26, following a keynote address from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that past Gold Anvil winners constitute the pantheon of the public relations profession, and now Syracuse University and Newhouse are represented among them,” says Anthony D’Angelo, professor of practice in public relations and director of the communications management program. “Maria Russell’s influence has uplifted a multitude of students, faculty colleagues and public relations professionals, all of whom are celebrating this news.”
Russell retired in June following 34 years on the faculty of the Newhouse School. She founded Newhouse’s executive master’s degree in communications management, which fuses content in strategic communications, business management and organizational leadership, and established the school’s Office of Executive Education. She was pivotal in the creation of the Newhouse W2O Center for Social Commerce, which supports innovative programs on social media and analytics.
A respected leader in the public relations profession for more than 40 years, Russell has also advanced the profession through her leadership of professional development programming for PRSA and other professional bodies, and has served on PRSA’s Board of Directors as secretary and treasurer.
She has also been honored with PRSA’s Outstanding Educator Award, the Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA and the Philip Dorf Award for Outstanding Mentorship by PRSA’s New York Chapter. She was named Educator of the Year by the Brazilian Association for Corporate Communication (ABERJE) due to her work on executive education programs for the organization.
She was a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the Plank Center for Leadership in PR at the University of Alabama, serving on the board from 2006 to 2019. Russell is also active in the Page Society, the Commission on Public Relations Education and the Accrediting Council in Journalism and Mass Communications.