The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication has presented its Distinguished Achievement Award to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for continued excellence in support of journalism and journalism education.

“Knight Foundation believes in building skills in journalists, as well as supporting initiatives that sustain journalistic values,” said Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of the Murrow College. “We recognize these values every day when we teach our students the skills and ethics first established by Murrow.

The presentation was made during the college’s 39th Symposium in honor of its greatest alum, Edward R. Murrow. Knight Foundation joins a prestigious list of previous award winners that includes such names as Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw and Don Hewitt.

Accepting the award, Eric Newton, Knight Foundation senior adviser to the president, told those gathered, “This honor is singular. We will treasure it. We are humbled by the company of the legends you would have us join.

Newton spoke of the power of Murrow himself and challenged students to be the voice most needed as new forms of media emerge.

“Murrow said, ‘when the evidence on a controversial subject is fairly and calmly presented, the public recognizes it for what it is — an effort to illuminate rather than to agitate,” said Newton. “In the words of our own Jack Knight ‘we seek to bestir the people into an awareness of their own condition, provide inspiration for their thoughts and rouse them to pursue their true interests.”