Ursula Burns, Sanjay Gupta and Kelly McGinnis to headline 8th annual Page Center Awards on March 25

February 9, 2024 • Jonathan McVerry

3 honorees

Event page: awards.thepagecenter.org

The Arthur W. Page Center is hosting a special program that honors exemplary individuals for their commitment to ethical communication and leadership. The eighth annual Page Center Awards is recognizing Ursula Burns, chairwoman of Teneo Holdings LLC and founding partner of Integrum Holdings; Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN; and Kelly McGinnis, chief communications officer of Levi Strauss & Co., during a free, virtual event at 4 p.m. ET on March 25, 2024.

The Page Center Awards continues its tradition of honoring top communicators and channeling their expertise into an hour-long program of education and inspiration. What makes this event unique is its blending of different communication industries under the theme of integrity. Honorees participate in in-depth Q&A sessions where they share stories, give advice and explain how integrity fuels success.

Registration is free and open to the public. Attendees can submit questions for the honorees during registration. A recording of the awards will be available to registrants immediately after the program’s conclusion.

“More than ever it’s important that we showcase the foundational necessity of truth in public communication,” said Bill Nielsen, Page Center advisory board chair and former corporate VP of public affairs at Johnson & Johnson. “Honorees have held a principled mission to uphold facts above all else. Emulating their work ethic can help us all counteract declining trust in our industry.”

Burns is the first African American woman to be CEO at a Fortune 500 Company. She is a leading voice in a number of areas, including business, engineering, technology, as well as public communication. Burns has been listed multiple times as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes.

Since 2001, Gupta has covered some of the most important health stories in the United States and around the world. He reported from New York following the 9/11 terror attacks and contributed to award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gupta reaffirmed his role as a trusted guide to viewers worldwide on navigating between facts and fiction.

McGinnis oversees communications and media relations at Levi Strauss. She helped found Time to Vote, an initiative that encourages companies to ensure their employees have time off to vote. She also spearheaded Levi’s advocacy for gun violence prevention and reproductive rights. McGinnis has been recognized by PR Week on the U.S. Power List (2019).

Honorees receive a Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication, which is given to trusted leaders who exhibit integrity in their life and work. To date, the Page Center has honored 25 renowned and respected communicators from several fields, including business, journalism, public relations and public service.

"In these times of rapid change and rampant disinformation, the Page Center Awards hold a heightened significance,” said Denise Bortree, Page Center director and associate dean at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. “Honorees epitomize integrity. They help us navigate the challenges we face every day, and I look forward to what Ursula, Sanjay and Kelly have to share at this year’s event.”

Each year, hundreds have logged on to hear these distinguished groups of communicators. Past honorees include Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID director, Ken Chenault, former CEO of American Express, Christiane Amanpour, chief international anchor at CNN; Jon Iwata, former CMO of IBM; Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist and editor; Judy Woodruff, former anchor of PBS Newshour; and Andy Polansky, former CEO of IPG DXTRA. Visit the awards page for a full list of honorees.

Register here. Visit the event page to learn about this year’s honorees, sponsorship opportunities and student activities.

This will be the fourth awards event streamed online. What originated as a dinner in 2017, the Page Center Awards transitioned to the virtual format in 2020 due to COVID-19. Hosting the event online introduced the Page Center to a global audience. Most importantly, it offered a chance for the next generation of ethical leaders to attend. During the last three events, nearly half of the viewers were college students.

Meet the honorees

Ursula Burns
Ursula Burns has extensive international experience in leading large companies that are facing technology sea changes within their industries. Burns was the chairwoman of the board of Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and chief executive officer from 2009 to 2016. Burns is a founding partner of Integrum Holdings, a private equity firm, and a non-executive chairwoman of Teneo Holdings LLC. U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Burns to lead the White House national program on science, technology, engineering and math from 2009 - 2016, and Burns served as chair of the President’s Export Council from 2015 - 2016. Her memoir “Where You Are Is Not Who You Are” was published in June 2021.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the multiple Emmy® Award-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN and host of the CNN podcast Chasing Life. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN’s reporting on health and medical news for all of CNN’s shows domestically and internationally, and regularly contributes to CNN Digital. In 2014, Gupta was the first western reporter who traveled to Conakry, Guinea, to investigate the deadly Ebola outbreak that would soon find its way to the United States. When a major earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Gupta flew into Kathmandu to cover the aftermath.

Kelly McGinnis
As senior vice president and chief communications officer of Levi Strauss & Co., Kelly McGinnis is responsible for managing the global corporate affairs function at the 170-year-old apparel company. In this capacity, she oversees corporate media relations, executive, employee and stakeholder communications, government affairs, policy, advocacy and community affairs as well as the company’s employee hardship fund, the Red Tab Foundation. Previously, McGinnis was the vice president of global communications at Dell. Prior to joining Dell, she served as general manager of Fleishman-Hillard’s San Francisco office after working with the firm in various capacities in St. Louis and San Antonio. 

About the Page Center Awards

Located in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State, the Arthur W. Page Center is a research center that advances integrity in all forms of public communication. It was founded by public relations legend Larry Foster, a Penn State alumnus and the namesake of the Center’s integrity award.

The purpose of the Page Center Awards is to celebrate icons of ethics, integrity and truth in public communication. The event supports innovative research by Page Center scholars and educational opportunities for students studying in communication fields. The Center’s research projects aim to build the scholarly and public understanding of ethics in communication. To date, the Center awarded more than $1 million in research funding to more than 300 scholars from around the world.

Areas of focus include corporate social advocacy, digital ethics, sustainability communication, advocacy, fake news and more. Other Center initiatives focus on educational opportunities like regular speaker series, oral history archiving and an online educational ethics module program that has reached more than 20,000 college students.

Visit the event page for registration, event and sponsorship information.