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The Liberty Bell Award is presented at the Annual Meeting of the Bar Association to an individual:

  • who promotes a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law
  • who encourages a greater respect for law and the courts
  • who stimulates a sense of civic responsibility
  • who contributes to the effectiveness of our institutions of government

Past NPBA Liberty Bell Award Recipients

1964 John J. Brewbaker, Norfolk Superintendent of Schools, 1949-60

1965 Lenoir Chambers, Editor, The Virginian Pilot, 1950-61

1966 Samuel T. Northern, businessman who strengthened the relationship between the community and the military

1967 Harold Anderson, Norfolk Chief of Police, 1956-67

1968 William Shands Meacham, Associate Editor of the Virginian Pilot

1969 Calvin H. Dalby, Norfolk Chief of Police, 1952-56

1970 Porter Hardy, Jr., member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1947-69

1971 Edwin L. Lamberth, Norfolk Superintendent of Schools, 1960-72

1972 Vincent J. Thomas, Norfolk Mayor, 1976-84

1973 Lewis W. Hurst, Sr., Chair, Virginia State Crime Commission, 1973-82 and Vice-Chair, Virginia Parole Board, 1982-94

1974 Stanley C. Walker, member, Virginia House of Delegates and State Senator, 1965-2000

1975 Friends of the Juvenile Court

1976 Capt. Paul L. Merwin, U.S. Navy

1977 Constance Laws, community leader in social work and gerontology

1978 Emily N. Spong, Portsmouth School Board member and Chair, 1937-60

1979 Colgate W. Darden, member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1933-37, 1939-41, Governor of Virginia, 1947-59 and President of U.Va., 1947-59

1980 Henry Clay Hofheimer, II, business and civic leader and philanthropist

1981 Alfred B. Rollins, Jr., President, Old Dominion University, 1976-85

1982 John R. Sears, Jr., Harborfest co-founder

1983 Frank Batten, Chairman, Landmark Communications, 1967-98, Publisher, The Virginian Pilot and philanthropist

1984 Gloria P. Hagans, Norfolk Public Schools Administrator

1985 Joan S. Cohen, Norfolk Court Docent Program

Betty Wade Coyle, Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads

1986 Hugh L. Stovall, Clerk, Norfolk Circuit Court

1987 Claude J. Staylor, Jr., Norfolk Chief of Police, 1967-74, Norfolk City Council, 1974-86

1988 Kevin Moran, Department of Juvenile Justice

1989 Evelyn T. Butts, successfully challenged Virginia's poll tax in the 1960s

1990 Kenneth R. Hinderliter, Deputy Clerk, Norfolk Circuit Court, Supervisor, Law Division, 1966-89

Frank S. Tinuzzo, Deputy Clerk, Norfolk Circuit Court, Supervisor, Chancery Division, 1972-90

1991 Theresa H. Albertson, educator

Jean T. Hodges, educator and Girl Scout volunteer

Karla M. Smith, Suffolk River Heritage founder

1993 Ann Hughes, Citizens Advisory Council, Norfolk Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court

1994 Harvey L. Lindsay, commercial real estate executive and philanthropist

1995 Martha R. Sorensen, Norfolk Court Docent Program

1996 Regina Marscheider, Spectrum Puppets creator

1997 Dr. William T. Greer, Jr., President, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1992-2015

1998 G. William Whitehurst, member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1969-87

Janie Whitehurst

2008 Joshua Darden, business leader and philanthropist

2009 Lee Ann Curtis Avery, founding member, Friends of Norfolk Juvenile Court

2010 Rachel Hunter, social worker, Street Law Program

2011 Dr. Suzanne Starling, CHKD Pediatrician, Child Abuse Program

2013 Sandra Claxton, Judicial Programs Manager, Norfolk Circuit Court

2014 Roxie A. Hoven, Executive Director, Norfolk CASA

2015 Miles Warren, Police Officer, City of Norfolk

2016 Jeanette Newton, Paralegal, Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Office

2018 Valerie Tuck, Norfolk Public Schools

2019 Dr. Marla Newby, Norfolk Circuit Court Drug Court Coordinator

2020 Donna Bausch, Executive Director of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association and Law Librarian of the Norfolk Law Library