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The Joseph E. Connor Award

    Joseph E. Connor began his illustrious and memorable career at Emerson College when he enrolled in 1916. He joined the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity and was elected National Secretary in 1917. He became a full-time faculty member in 1921, a position he held to his death.

     Connor's contributions to his school and fraternity were many. One of the finest orators the school has ever seen, he made 25 consecutive appearances at the Southwick Recital Series. It has been said that after the death of the series' founder, Henry Southwick (who was also a Phi Alpha Tau brother), the Connor
performance was the most anticipated one of the season.

     Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Connor household in the early 1950s. Ms. Connor had a fourth child who was crippled during birth. The child was seriously mentally deficient. Mr. Connor insisted on caring for the child at home. As a result, he found himself in financial trouble and began working excessively, to the
deterioration of his health.

     To express their love and admiration for the man, Phi Alpha Tau established Joe Connor Day and held a special convocation in his honor just two weeks before his death in 1952. The following year, the Joseph E. Connor Memorial Award was established and awarded to broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. Ever
since, the award has been given to men of comparable stature who have the spirit and talent Joe Connor had.