Created in 2004, The Monmouth University Award for Communication Excellence (MACE) recognizes and honors individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to the field of communication, and set the highest examples of accomplishments in the arena. 

It was created by The Communication Council, which is an advisory board for the University’s Department of Communication. The council wanted to take the department into a true School of Communications, and sought a way to increase recognition of and appreciation for the department. They also aimed to raise scholarship, grant, research, and supporting funding for the department’s efforts. The original team that designed the award was made up of Don Swanson, Maureen Bay, Marilyn Rocky, Jim Hickey, and Maiya Furgason.

The MACE represents the prestige of Monmouth University’s educational and cultural excellence in the communications field. As such, recipients must show extraordinary achievement in their professional endeavors, must have the respect of their peers and, most importantly, must be role models for Monmouth University students. They must also represent an honest and true aggregation of their profession, setting the greatest example for students as well as others who look to them for inspiration and wisdom.

Over the years, there have been several MACE recipients, but the award is not presented annually and instead depends on whom the University deems appropriate as a recipient. Previous honorees include White House correspondent Helen Thomas; former Asbury Park Press newspaper publisher Jules L. Plangere, Jr.; founding financial editor of CNN Myron Kandel; CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz; and “NBC Nightly News” anchor and managing editor Brian Williams. In 2015, the award was presented to Chris Miller and Phil Lord, film/television writers, producers, and directors of the films 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, and The Lego Movie, and the television shows Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth.