Northwestern State University’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts honored several individuals, including Pi Kappa Phi alumnus Doug Ireland, as Distinguished Communications Professionals on March 17.
Created in 2021, the Distinguished Communications Professional award recognizes individuals with successful careers in and/or significant contributions to the fields of journalism, photojournalism, communications, news editorial, public relations, political strategy, media production, web content production and new media as it emerges, as well as individuals who have made significant contributions to the Department.
Ireland has been chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame since 1990, just over a year after he left the Alexandria Town Talk sports staff and launched a 30-year run as the sports information director at Northwestern State, retiring in 2019. Ireland spearheaded efforts leading to construction and the 2013 opening of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches.
During his career, Ireland earned numerous awards from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association as well as honors from dozens of professional, athletic and civic organizations. Last year, he was enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame as a winner of the LSWA’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism. He was also honored by the Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame with a Distinguished Service Award, and in 2022 was named one of the 100 most impactful members of the Greek community at Northwestern for his service from 2007-22 as advisor for the Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Since January 2021, Ireland has been sports content director for Online Journals, LLC, which has 11 parish journals across northwest Louisiana.
The awards are presented by the NSU Foundation and the NSU Alumni Association.
Other honorees included Gary Fields, Robert Gentry, the late Carley McCord, Dan McDonald, Jim Mustian, Denise Lewis Patrick, the late Jerry Pierce and Tom Whitehead.
Press release source: Leah Jackson/ NSU Director of Public Information and Media Relations