The Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards were established to honor New Hampshire individuals or groups who stand out in their defense of or their use of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Each year, a distinguished group of judges reviews First Amendment nominees submitted by the public to choose the recipient, who is honored at the annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards Event.

This award honors each recipient and the Five Freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.

The Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications seeks to honor New Hampshire residents or organizations who have worked to protect free speech and free press.

Nominations are open for the school’s 18th annual First Amendment Award, honoring diligence in protecting free press and free speech liberties.  The recipient will be included in a new publication, F1RST THINGS F1RST, a collection of essays on the First Amendment in these times, and will be honored as part of a video tribute.A committee of judges chooses the recipient from public nominations. First Amendment recipients receive a bronze eagle sculpture created by Mrs. Loeb and a $1,500 award.

The award and the school are legacies of the late Nackey S. Loeb, president and publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Past recipients include former state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin, former Keene Sentinel Executive Editor Thomas Kearney, former Executive Editor John Howe of The Laconia Citizen, former legislator Daniel Hughes, former Dover City Councilor David Scott, Londonderry High School Journalism Adviser Mary DeWinkeleer, First Amendment attorney William Chapman, former ConVal School Board member Gail Pierson Cromwell, The Portsmouth Herald, David Lang and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, The Telegraph of Nashua, slain journalist James Foley, former Portsmouth police officer John Connors, open government activist David Pearl, Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green, Right to Know-NH and columnist and speaker Robert Azzi, and Veteran’s Administration whistleblower, the late Dr. William “Ed” Kois.

First Amendment judges are: Rod Doherty, former executive editor of Foster’s Daily Democrat;  Retired N.H. Supreme Court Justice Richard Galway; Attorney Gregory Sullivan of Malloy & Sullivan, LPC.; and previous First Amendment recipient Mary DeWinkeleer. 

The nonprofit Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, Inc. was founded in 1999 to foster interest, integrity and excellence in journalism and other forms of communication. It offers free classes and low-cost workshops in communications and media-related topics, taught by professionals from New Hampshire media outlets and businesses.

The deadline for nominations is September 4, 2020

We are grateful to our 2020 First Amendment Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:

Eversource

Liberty Reception Sponsor:

The Brodsky Prize/CCA Global

Website Project Sponsors:

AT&T

Bank of America

Joseph McQuaid

St. Mary’s Bank

Five Freedoms Sponsors:

AARP

Amoskeag Beverages

Bellwether Community Credit Union

Bernstein Shur

Borislow Insurance

Business and Industry Association

Catholic Medical Center

Cross Insurance

Elliot Health Systems

Fidelity Investments

Joyce and Daniel Levesque

Louis Karno & Co Communications

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Mayflower Advisors

Merchants Fleet

NH Beverage Association

Northeast Delta Dental

Southern New Hampshire University

Wieczorek Insurance

Wipfli, LLP

Champion Sponsors:

Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, & P.C.

NH Institute of Politics

James and Kristy Merrill

Jayme and Laura Simoes

Sarah and David Tirrell-Wysocki

17th annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award

The event honors First Amendment freedoms and those in New Hampshire who go above and

beyond to uphold them.

Guest Speaker: Trish Regan, host of Trish Regan Primetime on the Fox Business Network.

Trish is a New Hampshire native and former Miss New Hampshire. She is looking forward to seeing some

old friends when she returns to support the Nackey Loeb School and the First Amendment.

2019 First Amendment Award Recipient

The late Dr. William ‘Ed’ Kois, the Veterans Administration doctor whose disclosures about poor conditions and treatment at the VA Medical Center in Manchester led to system-wide changes there and a review of conditions at VA facilities around the country. Dr. Kois died this summer.

2019 Quill & Ink Award Recipient

David Tirrell-Wysocki, Executive Director, Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, who is retiring at the end of the year after 20 years at the school as an instructor, curriculum coordinator and executive director.

We are grateful to our 2019 First Amendment Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

People’s United Bank

Liberty Reception Sponsor

Eversource Energy

Legacy Sponsor

The Brodsky Prize

Speaker Sponsor

Bryant ‘Corky’ Messner US Senate

First Amendment Award

AutoFair

Nametag Sponsor

McLane Middleton

Ticket Sponsor

AT&T

Program Sponsor

Brady Sullivan Properties

Hospitality Sponsor

The Common Man Family of Restaurants

Quill and Ink Sponsors

Bruce and Marybeth Crochetiere

Elliot Health System

The McQuaid Family

Followers of the School

Consolidated Communications

Student Sponsor

Citizens Count NH, Live Free or Die Alliance

Patriot Sponsor

Citizens Bank

Dartmouth Hitchcock

Fidelity Investments

Daniel and Carol Hughes

Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University

SilverTech

Weld 2020

Five Freedoms Sponsors

Amoskeag Beverages

Anagnost Investments

BAE Systems

Bellwether Community Credit Union

Borislow Insurance

Catholic Medical Center

Cross Insurance

Joyce and Daniel Levesque

Sean and Kirsten Mahoney

NH Beverage Association

Northeast Delta Dental

Primary Bank

Saint Mary’s Bank

Friend of the School

AARP

Bernstein Shur Group

Business and Industry Association

Douglas, Leonard & Garvey

Dumont Communications

Keystone Press

Louis Karno & Co Communications

Sarah and David Tirrell-Wysocki

Union Leader Corp.

Wipfli | Howe, Riley & Howe

Media Partners

WGIR

WMUR

New Hampshire Union Leader

Video presentation honoring Dr. William ‘Ed’ Kois

Concord Monitor Story Covering the Event

Union Leader story covering the Event

—-

Last year:

Robert Azzi honored at First Amendment Event

Gov. John Kasich – guest speaker

2018 First Amendment Recipient Robert Azzi

MANCHESTER – Robert Azzi, who works to promote civility and public awareness about Muslims, was honored at the 2018 Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications’ First Amendment Awards event.

The Exeter resident received the 16th annual First Amendment Award in a presentation Thursday evening at the Palace Theatre.

The event’s featured speaker – a week after the important mid-term elections – was Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former, and potentially future, presidential hopeful. The event was one of several Kasich attended this week in New Hampshire, home of the earliest presidential primary in 2020.

While in New Hampshire, Kasich said all options are open for a possible second run for president.

Azzi is a photo journalist, columnist, public speaker, education consultant and world traveler whose columns appear in many New Hampshire publications. He also has presented his program, “Ask a Muslim Anything,” at more than 50 public events and forums around the state, where he works to encourage tolerance, understanding and interfaith discussion.

“I want to open up new perspectives for my audiences, especially for those who don’t often agree with me, and expose them to points of view I believe are important and which they might not have previously considered,” he says.

Azzi was chosen from nominees submitted by the public.

The First Amendment Awards Event is the only fundraiser for the nonprofit school, which was founded in 1999 by Nackey S. Loeb, the late president and publisher of the Union Leader and Sunday News. Its free classes and low-cost workshops attract students from middle-schoolers to retirees. Instructors from media outlets and businesses around the state teach topics such as the First Amendment, journalism, photography, broadcasting, audio and video production, social media and public speaking.

Past recipients of the First Amendment Award are: former state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin, former Keene Sentinel Executive Editor Thomas Kearney, The Laconia Citizen, former legislator Daniel Hughes, former Dover City Councilor David Scott, Londonderry High School Journalism Adviser Mary Lukas, First Amendment attorney William Chapman, ConVal School Board member Gail Pierson Cromwell, The Portsmouth Herald, David Lang and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, The Telegraph of Nashua, slain journalist James Foley, former Portsmouth Police Officer John Connors, citizen activists Donna Green and the late David Pearl and Right to Know NH.

2018 First Amendment Award Pictures

Union Leader: Loeb School 2018 First Amendment Event

We are grateful to our 2018 First Amendment Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: People’s United Bank

Liberty Reception Sponsor: Eversource Energy

Free Press Reception Sponsor: Catholic Medical Center

Legacy Sponsor: The Brodsky Prize

First Amendment Award: AutoFair

Award Video Sponsor: The Common Man

Ticket Sponsor: AT&T

Nametag Sponsor: McLane Middleton

Program Sponsor: Brady Sullivan Properties

Hospitality Sponsor: U.S. Trust

Student Sponsor: Citizens Count

Quill and Ink Sponsors:
Consolidated Communications
Elliot Health System
Joseph and Signe McQuaid
SilverTech

Followers of the School:
BAE

Patriot Sponsors:
Citizens Bank
Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Fidelity Investments
Daniel and Carol Hughes
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
Merchants Fleet Management

Five Freedoms Sponsors:
Amoskeag Beverages
Anagnost Investments
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Bellwether Community Credit Union
Cross Insurance
Joyce and Daniel Levesque
Sean and Kirsten Mahoney
New Hampshire Beverage Association
New Hampshire Healthy Families
Northeast Delta Dental
SIG SAUER Academy
St. Mary’s Bank

Friendsof the School:
AARP
Bernstein Shur Group
BIA
Borislow Insurance
Douglas, Leonard & Garvey
Dumont Communications
Howe Riley & Howe
IPG Benefits
Keystone Press
New Hampshire College & University Council
New Hampshire Union Leader

Media Partners

WGIR

WMUR

New Hampshire Union Leader

————————————-

— Looking Back —-

2017 First Amendment Award Pictures

Union Leader: Loeb School 2017 First Amendment Event

Concord Monitor: Loeb School 2017 1st Amendment Event

————————————–

2016 First Amendment Award Pictures

Union Leader: Loeb School honors 2016 First Amendment Award Recipients

Concord Monitor: David Pearl found relentlessly to protect the First Amendment

———————-

2015 First Amendment Award Pictures

Union Leader – Award Event Article

The Concord Monitor – Award Recipients

Laconia Daily Sun – Judge James Carroll honored

Seacoastonline – John Connors honored