Richard R. Phillips (’78 journalism and mass communication) is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Phillips was recognized at the Iowa State University Alumni Association’s 89th Annual Honors & Awards Ceremony April 7, 2021.
The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to alumni, faculty and friends of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding service or academic contributions that further the educational mission of the college.
Phillips has spent 20+ years working in communications, marketing and public relations positions for organizations such as Meredith Corporation, United Way of Central Iowa, Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation, and GuideOne Insurance. In 1999, he joined Nationwide, a Fortune 100 financial services and insurance company. He was promoted to chief communications officer in February 2009, a position he held until retiring in July 2018.
Over the years, Phillips has remained actively involved with the Greenlee School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has been a member of the Greenlee School Advisory Council since 2010, serving as council vice chair from 2016-2018 and as council chair from 2018-2020.
He was a driving force for the first-ever Greenlee Summit in 2018, a day-long industry forum that brought professionals, students and educators together in a learning environment with the goal of highlighting current issues and trends. The 2018 Summit attracted 235 journalism, public relations,and advertising professionals from throughout Iowa and surrounding states. In 2019, the summit focused on the timely issue of civility in journalism, advertising and public relations, and drew another 150 attendees from around the Midwest. The summits achieved the goal of raising the profile of the Greenlee School to prospective and existing students, employers and working communications professionals.
“Like so many Greenlee alums, I owe much of my success to the outstanding foundation I was given here,” Phillips said. “Greenlee’s ongoing mission of training leaders in journalism, advertising, and public relations has never been more important than it is today.”