NCA's Hobgood Distinguished Service to the Communication Centers Award

The award shall be presented to the person judged to have made the greatest contribution to the support and/or promotion of communication centers, the Communication Centers section of the National Communication Association, and the profession during her or his career. Considerations include demonstrated dedication to excellence, commitment to the profession, concern for others, vision of what could be, and appreciation of diversity. The person must be a member in good standing of the Communication Centers section of NCA. Self-nominations are encouraged.

The nominator should send a letter of nomination stating why the person should be recognized for distinguished service to Communication Centers. Additionally, the nominator should be prepared to gather additional information if needed (due to multiple nominations or need for clarification).

The Nomination Should Include:

  • The nominee's current vita (provided by either the nominee or the nominee’s administration or colleagues)
  • Evidence of the above considerations
  • A minimum of two and maximum of three letters of recommendation, including: one from a colleague in Communication Centers outside of the nominee’s institution, and one from a faculty member within the nominee’s institution.

Nominations must be submitted by September 1st of the award-granting year. The recipient will be chosen by a committee consisting of current officers of the Communication Centers section (past chair, chair, vice-chair, vice-chair elect). The award will be presented at the NCA convention, and reported at the NACC conference.


If you have questions regarding the nomination process, contact Carl Brown

About Linda Hobgood:


Director of the Speech Center since its founding in 1996, Linda Hobgood has served on the faculty of the Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies at the University of Richmond since 1990. Areas of specialization include public speaking, speech writing, interpersonal communication, group communication, business and professional speech, and political rhetoric. Courses she has designed include: a seminar on the rhetoric of first ladies, the practicum, “theory and pedagogy,” to train student speech consultants who staff the University’s Speech Center, and most recently a first year seminar entitled “The White House Said Today: Rhetoric of the Executive Branch.” In 2003, she received the University of Richmond’s “Distinguished Educator” Award. The National Speakers Association presented Mrs. Hobgood its “Jeanne Robertson Outstanding Professor” Award in October 2005.

She proposed and hosted, on behalf of the University of Richmond, the nation’s first conference of speaking center/communication lab directors. “Excellence at the Center” participants met at the University of Richmond in April of 2001. The tenth anniversary conference, “Center to Sphere: A Decade and Beyond” of the National Association of Communication Centers was again hosted by the University of Richmond in March, 2011. In addition to coordinating these gatherings, Mrs. Hobgood has proposed and been awarded funding for another first: a University Orator-in-Residence program. This residency honors the lifelong pursuit of eloquence and seeks to involve not only the campus community but residents of the greater Richmond metropolitan area. The inaugural Orator-in-Residence was Mr. Reid Buckley, who spoke, lectured, and conducted workshops at the University of Richmond in October, 2001. Acclaimed poet and Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia, served as the 2004 Orator-in-Residence. Richmond’s most recent Orator-in-Residence, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, spoke to an overflow audience on campus in November, 2010.

In 2007, the Speech Center launched another on-campus event, known as “Forum at the Forum.” Each year, students are asked to propose a key question that becomes the theme of the annual “Forum.” Everyone is invited to participate in the outdoor discussion, held at the Forum outside the Gottwald Science Center not far from the Heilman Dining Center. The event, scheduled on a weekday in the spring, attracts students, staff and faculty en route to classes or lunch. A vigorous discussion may ensue on the particular topic, and the Speech Center’s mission–to promote speaking and listening to good effect–is effectively pursued!

A communication consultant, Mrs. Hobgood has served as speechwriter, campaign manager, and consultant in the public and private sector, conducting training seminars for larger corporate organizations and various small businesses seeking ways to improve communication skills in both the workplace environment and the public setting. Her children’s story Yesternight was published in June, 2019.

Past experience includes positions at the White House with Special Programs and the First Lady’s staff, research and writing for the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, and service as an administrative assistant to a member of the Senate of Virginia.

Named to Outstanding Young Women in America in 1980, Mrs. Hobgood has served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and the Young Life organization in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has also served as PTA President for Gayton Elementary School in Henrico County. The Hobgoods are members of Third Church in Richmond.

Mrs. Hobgood holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia. Born in Washington, D.C., she is married to James L. Hobgood. Parents of a son, Dan, a daughter, Jenny and son-in-law Matthew Connors, and grandparents of Christopher, Claire, and Emma Rose Connors, the Hobgoods reside in Manakin Sabot, Virginia.

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Past Recipients:

  • 2017 Wendy Atkins-Sayre
  • 2015 Shawn Apostel, Bellarmine University
  • 2014 Ted Sheckels, Randolph Macon College
  • 2013 Kim Cuny, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • 2012 Kathie Turner, Davidson College
  • 2011 Kyle Love, Columbia College
  • 2010 Marlene Preston, Virginia Tech
  • 2009 Linda Hobgood, University of Richmond