Eric Townsend, director of communications for Elon University School of Law, received the College News Association of the Carolinas' 2019 H. Lewis Gaston Award for outstanding service to CNAC and accomplishments in public relations in higher education.
An Elon University communications staff member was honored in March for his service to a regional association whose mission is to support higher education public relations professionals in North and South Carolina.
Eric Townsend, director of communications at Elon Law, received the 2019 H. Lewis Gaston Award from the College News Association of the Carolinas during CNAC's annual conference, which was hosted in Greenville, South Carolina.
The award recognizes a recipient's outstanding service to CNAC and for accomplishments in public relations in higher education. It is named in memory of a former CNAC president killed in an accident June 14, 1973. Recipients are chosen from among nominations received by an awards committee appointed by the CNAC president.
Judy Longshaw, CNAC's president-elect, presented Townsend with the honor on March 4, 2019, during the conference's awards luncheon.
"Eric is a servant-leader in every sense of the word," Longshaw said as she read from award nominations. "He doesn't do any of this for ego or validation – he does it for his love and devotion to the organization and what CNAC stands for. He is beyond deserving of this honor, and I feel he is a model to what a CNAC leader, or any leader for that matter, should aspire."
Townsend has served CNAC in a variety of leadership roles for the past decade: first as a member of its board of directors, then as secretary and, for the past two years, as treasurer, handling the finances of CNAC conferences in Raleigh and Greenville.
Townsend joined the Elon University staff in 2007 as director of the news bureau and moved to Elon Law in 2016 to manage communications for the law school in downtown Greensboro. In his current role, Townsend oversees Elon Law's external marketing, alumni publications, media relations, social media accounts, and website management.