About Us

The Virginia Press Women Foundation honors student excellence in communications through our annual scholarship program. We raise money for and award scholarships to outstanding college and graduate students who wish to pursue careers in journalism, public relations and other related fields. We’re a nonprofit corporation that’s affiliated with Virginia Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women.

Key Dates

  • 1958: Virginia Press Women organizes.
  • 1966: Agnes Cooke Scholarship is first presented. Established by Valerie Edinger, former women’s editor of Richmond Times-Dispatch, the scholarship is still given annually.
  • 1973: VPW incorporates.
  • 1992: VPW creates and incorporates VPW Foundation.
  • 2014: VPW changes name to Virginia Professional Communicators. VPW Foundation increases scholarship to $1,000.
  • 2021: VPW Foundation increases scholarship to $2,000.

Our Impact

Since the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame was founded in 1986, 158 individuals have been inducted: journalists, educators, best-selling novelists, screenwriters, broadcasters, public relations and marketing executives, photojournalists and communications innovators. Twenty-six of the inductees are women, and 13 of them are or were members of VPW/VPC at some point in their careers:

  • 1987 Lois Watkins: owner, Hanover Herald-Progress
  • 1993 Myrtle Barnes: managing editor, Newport News Times-Herald and Newport News Daily Press
  • 1998 Pauline Mitchell: director of community relations, Chesterfield County
  • 2000 Sandra Mims Rowe: executive editor and vice president, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and Ledger Star; editor, The Oregonian, Portland
  • 2001 Ulrich Troubetzkoy (posthumous): poet, feature and series writer, Richmond Times-Dispatch; editor, Virginia Wildlife
  • 2001 Martha Steger: director of public relations, Virginia Tourism Corporation
  • 2002 Wilma Wirt: journalism educator, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 2003 Louise C. Seals: managing editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • 2006 Eva Teig Hardy: senior vice president, Dominion Resources
  • 2007 Ginger Stanley: executive director, Virginia Press Association and Virginia Press Services, Inc.
  • 2010 Bea Kopp (posthumous): photo manager, Newport News Daily Press and Times- Herald
  • 2012 Margie Fisher (posthumous): editorial writer and political reporter, Roanoke Times
  • 2013 Dorothy Abernathy: bureau chief for Virginia and West Virginia, The Associated Press

In addition, George Crutchfield, the founder of the Hall of Fame as director of the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, was inducted in 1990. He and several other members of the Society of Professional Journalists joined VPW at the same time SPJ opened its ranks to women.

VPW Foundation Meets Fundraising Goal

Thanks to the generosity of VPC’s members and supporters, the Virginia Press Women Foundation has reached its capital campaign goal of $25,000.

The campaign, “A Foundation for the Future: Investing in Excellence in Communications,” sought to create a sustainable program that can continue to raise money and award scholarships to college students who wish to pursue careers in communications.

The VPW Foundation deeply appreciates the contributions of VPC members and friends. We welcome your ongoing support–especially as college costs continue to climb. Again, thank you. Your gifts make a difference.

Making Headlines

Every year, VPC bestows a Newsmaker of the Year Award to a noteworthy past or present Virginian. Past recipients include:

Vivian Carter Mason

Penny Tweedy

Rae Elly

Annie Dillard

Eleanor Sheppard

Dr. Betty Diener

Elizabeth Taylor Warner

Patricia Cornwell

Nikki Giovanni

Margaret Sanger Marston

Eva Teig

Brig. Gen. Gail Reals

Elizabeth Lacy

Dr. Georgeanna Seegar Jones

Patricia Kluge

Lt. Paula Coughlin

Virginia First Responders

Adriana Trigiani (honorary member)