University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Center for Community Engagement announces ‘Austin Legacy Awards’

Al Austin in 1983

Al Austin in 1983

The Center for Community Engagement announced today that four former students of the late UND professor, Alvin Austin, will be presented with “Austin Legacy Awards,” recognizing professional accomplishments for community benefit.

The 2013 Austin Legacy Award recipients represent professional accomplishments across the field of communication. They will be presented to UND graduates James R. Hagerty (’78), David Iverson (’70), Jack McDonald (’62), and Judy Sullivan Dawson (’52).

The Alvin E. Austin Reception is held every year for friends and family to honor Austin’s memory. The reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Oct. 11 (Homecoming Week at UND), at the Carnegie Building, 250 Centennial Dr.

About Austin:

Austin taught journalism at UND for 34 years and also chaired the department for more than 20 years. Austin also was a night editor and columnist for the Grand Forks Herald and an active public servant. He received many honors and awards, including UND’s most prestigious for alumni, the Sioux Award. He was named a national Distinguished Teacher of Journalism by Sigma Delta Chi.

Austin retired in 1980 and died in 1999.

Al Austin circa 1965

Al Austin circa 1965

“Al Austin had a big impact on many of his students,” according to Lana Rakow, director of the UND Center for Community Engagement and one of Austin’s former students. “He taught us how to care about our communities and the quality of public life.” The Austin Legacy Awards recognize those characteristics in the award recipients.

Al Austin with students in 1968

Al Austin with students in 1968

Award recipients:

― James R. (Bob) Hagerty, who lives in Pittsburgh, is an award-winning reporter for The Wall Street Journal and has been an editor and bureau chief for The WSJ and the International Herald Tribune in Hong Kong, Brussels, Paris, Atlanta, and New York. He is the author of The Fateful History of Fannie Mae (History Press, 2012).

― Seattle resident David Iverson is a successful broadcaster who started his own broadcast network, College Athletic Radio Networks in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. In 1981, he sold the business and began “A Cook’s Tour,” which mixes travel with the culinary and the cultural in Europe, Africa, South America, Mexico and the United States.

― Jack McDonald, Bismarck, is a senior partner in the Wheeler Wolf Law Firm, with a specialty in First Amendment and communications law. McDonald has represented the North Dakota Newspaper Association, North Dakota Broadcasters Association, and Prairie Public Broadcasting, among other clients, as a lobbyist and on issues of defamation, access to meetings and records, and court proceedings.

― Judy Sullivan Dawson, Tampa Bay, Fla., has been a successful writer, editor, columnist, reviewer and communications consultant. She served as society editor for the Bismarck Tribune, news bureau officer for Mundelein College in Chicago, resident editor of Virginia Guidebook in Williamsburg, Va., and associate editor and columnist for Air Force Magazine in Washington, D.C.

For questions, please contact the Center for Community Engagement at 701.777.0675. More information can be found at

-- David L. Dodds, media relations/writer and editor, University and Public Affairs, 777.5529,

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