The Plank Center Selects Chicago’s Ralph Campagna as its First Betsy Plank Mentorship Award Recipient

Ralph Campagna, executive director of the Off the Street Club in Chicago, will receive the first-ever Betsy Plank Mentorship Award during the seventh annual “Milestones in Mentoring” Gala hosted by The Plank Center at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 10.

The Center’s namesake, Betsy Plank, firmly believed mentoring was one of the “strongest ways to spell success.” The Betsy Plank Mentorship Award is a special recognition for lifetime efforts in mentoring and leading. Honoring those who have shaped the future, the award recognizes the dedication and impact of individuals who have fostered relationships with their organization, community and profession.

“Ralph inspires us all to be better leaders and to mentor others along our professional and personal journey as we strive to improve ourselves, our community and our profession,” said Ron Culp, chair of the Plank Center and director of the graduate PR and advertising program at DePaul University.

For more than five decades, Campagna has been a leader in Chicago’s oldest boys and girls club, which currently serves more than 3,000 kids in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. As a respected and beloved father figure, Campagna serves as a mentor to all the boys and girls who come through the Club’s doors, and he continues to be a guiding light for his community.

Keith Burton, vice chair of the Plank Center and principal of Grayson Emmett Partners, first met Ralph more than two decades ago when the agency he was working with partnered with Off the Street Club. Keith said, “Ralph is committed to enriching the lives of others and making others dreams come true. He is a man of incredible integrity and humility, whose life and passion is committed to serving others.”

About the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations

In 2005, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees established The Plank Center. Named for public relations leader and UA alumna, the late Betsy Plank, the Center develops and recognizes outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society through a variety of initiatives.

In addition to national leaders in the practice and education, the Center’s Board includes an ex officio position for the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America that represents more than 11,000 members in 300-plus colleges and universities.

The Center is housed in UA’s department of advertising and public relations, a division of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. UA’s public relations program, with nearly 1,400 students, is the largest undergraduate degree program within the College. The program is certified by the Public Relations Society of America.

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