Former Longwood executive honored

Published 6:00 am Friday, August 6, 2021

Former Longwood public relations executive H. Donald Winkler has been honored by Marquis Who’s Who for his “lifetime achievements and unwavering excellence” in book authorship and university public relations.

A biographical narrative about Winkler appears in the recently released Marquis book, “A Lifetime of Achievement, Our Collection of Prestigious Listees.”

H. Donald

Marquis Who’s Who is the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles. Winkler has been listed in their volumes for the past 50 years.

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The new publication features individuals who have excelled not only during their career but also throughout their retirement years. They represent numerous fields of endeavor.

Winkler’s profile, written by Marquis staff, notes that during his retirement years he has excelled as a historical researcher and author, producing five books cited in peer reviews as “first-rate, fascinating books that provide new insights and invaluable contributions” about Abraham Lincoln’s life and death and the Civil War era. The books resulted in speaking engagements for Winkler at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., where Lincoln was assassinated, at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site and other Lincoln venues.

The Marquis book also noted Winkler’s 38-year career as a university public relations executive, a field in which he became “a trailblazer and one of the leading professionals,” won 84 national awards, and was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 1995, the first person from his profession to be chosen. Several years later, his undergraduate alma mater, McKendree University, gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Literature and Communication.

Before coming to Longwood in 1982, Winkler was at California State University in Fresno and at the East-West Center in Hawaii. At Cal State he was one of only a dozen faculty members and administrators awarded both academic and administrative tenure in the entire 23-campus Cal State system. At the U.S. State Department-affiliated East-West Center, Winkler founded and edited an international-issues magazine. It was chosen by the Educational Press Association of America as the nation’s outstanding educational magazine.

The Marquis book quotes several persons from Winkler’s past.

“He is a leading thinker and writer about public relations,” Virginia Carter, then senior vice president of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), said. “Winkler’s skills in management enabled him not just to know what ought to be done, but to do it. He is one of the very few persons who understand what PR can do for an institution.”

CASE chose Winkler as a national consultant to evaluate PR programs at colleges and universities and cited Winkler for “professional efforts which have benefited not only his institution but have strengthened the entire fabric of American education.”

A journalist by profession, Winkler “enjoyed the towering respect of the press, radio and TV corps,” H. Roger Tatarian, then editor-in-chief of United Press International and a prominent authority on journalism, said.

Winkler was a 30-year member of the National Press Club and is a 62-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.