George Mason Award next Wednesday: Join us!

Our annual George Mason Award Ceremony & Celebration takes place next Wednesday, and we need your help to ensure a great audience for our honorees! Get your tickets today.

The George Mason Award

Craig T. Merritt, 2011 recipient of the George Mason Award, is a Freedom of Information warrior for the commonwealth. A partner at the law firm of Christian & Barton in Richmond, he has represented the interests of news outlets and journalists many times. Merritt has selflessly assisted, defended and educated the news media of Virginia.

He helped journalists in their pursuit of the freedom of information, and he has assisted in the fight against unwarranted intrusion into newsrooms by law enforcement. Merritt has taught working journalists, as well as visitors from other countries, about the history and status of a free press in the United States and Virginia.

We hope you’ll agree that our nominating committee chose wisely in honoring Merritt.

Virginia SPJ, SDX Educational Foundation Scholarships

Also during the ceremony, we will honor two up-and-coming student journalists with the Virginia SPJ, SDX Educational Foundation Scholarships. They were selected from a dozen applicants from schools across Virginia.

Arielle Retting of Fairfax, a Journalism/Political Science major at Radford, is the editor-in-chief of the Whim, RU’s online magazine. She is assistant copy editor for the student newspaper, The Tartan, and has been an intern with RU’s Web Communication Department. During May, Retting traveled to Florida for a Poynter College Fellowship. This summer, she will be the Dow Jones copydesk intern at the Virginian-Pilot.

Katherine “Katie” Mawyer of Sandston, a Communications, Professional Writing and Popular Culture major at Virginia Tech, plans a career in broadcast sports journalism. She’s already served sports-related internships at WTVR-TV (Channel 6) in Richmond, with the New River Valley Bureau of the Roanoke Times, and with the Richmond Kickers. This summer, Katie will be working with Clear Channel Communications as an intern with the Virginia Association of Broadcasters, as well as with the sports department at CBS 6.

Officer and Board of Directors Elections

As our major annual meeting, during the evening we will swear in our officers and members of the Board of Directors for 2011-2012. These folks will guide our chapter as we build on a successful series of programs, including hosting the Region 2 Spring Conference.

Join us!

Event tickets are available now at our Eventbrite site for $40 per person. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and two beer or wine tickets are included. A program sponsor ticket, with recognition in the evening’s program, is also available for $90. There will also be a silent auction with many great items. We will return to the 2300 Club in Richmond, although to dodge the heat the program will be held indoors. Online ticket sales will end Monday at noon

We hope to see you there!

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