The National Society of Newspaper Columnists will honor three of its pioneers for outstanding service to the organization at the annual conference in Detroit, June 23-26.
The NSNC Legacy Award will be presented posthumously to Mike Harden, longtime columnist for The Columbus Dispatch, who unveiled the new award at the 2010 conference in Bloomington, Ind. Other honorees this year are Larry Maddry of the Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, Va., and Richard Des Ruisseaux of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Both Maddry and Ruisseaux have continued their membership in NSNC in their retirement.
NSNC Archivist Dave Astor, who presented a motion to the Board of Directors as a member of the Awards Committee, said:
“Larry Maddry founded/organized the NSNC in 1977. Richard, like Larry, was a charter NSNC member, and served as NSNC president for a decade or more before the every two-year rotation began in 1990. Mike was also heavily involved in the NSNC from its early days — hosting two conferences and serving as newsletter editor, among other things.”
Astor said Harden’s widow, Debra Harden, will accept his award.
The first Legacy Awards recognized Bob Hill, retired Louisville Courier-Journal columnist, former Treasurer and host of the 1999 conference; and George Smith of the Anniston (Ala.) Star, veteran NSNC member and faithful conference attendee. Harden presented them both with handsome plaques.
“Big Bob” Hill will make the presentations of this year’s Legacy Awards.