By: Mike Power

Russell Mills, the college’s dean of the school of Media and Design, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to a national journalism award foundation. Mills was presented with the award by the Governor General at Rideau Hall on June 12.

The Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne.
It is awarded to honour significant contributions and achievements from Canadians.

The Michener Awards were started in 1970 by former governor general Roland Michener and the award is intended “to encourage journalism as a defined public service, if you get a new law passed, or somebody gets fired… good journalism per se isn’t enough to win, it needs to really lead to something,” said Mills.

“I was the chair of the judging panel for a number of years,” said Mills, “and I’ve been president of the foundation for the last three or four years.”

Mills had no idea he was about to receive an award when he showed up to the last Michener Awards ceremony. “At the last Michener Award ceremony in June, I was asked to turn up a little early. I thought it was just that the Governor General sometimes wants to talk to us just a bit about the ceremony, but it was to present me with the medal.”

“I didn’t have a warning about it, it was a surprise when we got there,” said Mills. “I thought it was excellent, being presented by the Governor General himself, at Rideau Hall being there at a black tie dinner was what made it special.”

For Mills, it wasn’t so much the personal recognition that made it special.

“It showed the commitment that the Governors-General have had to the [Michener Award] for the past 42 years. It was started by a Governor General way back when, and every Governor General since then…have all been enthusiastic about it,” said Mills.