Betsy Plank was known as a public relations pioneer, a champion of PR education and the First Lady of public relations. A 1944 graduate of the University of Alabama, Plank attained national and international stature during a distinguished career in corporate and agency public relations. She achieved multiple firsts for women, winning many top awards in the field. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Foundation established its first ever scholarship endowment fund in her name.
Since then, the Betsy Plank Scholarship Endowment Fund has helped ensure the availability of public relations education funds for students at more than 40 colleges nationwide. In 2005, the Trustees of the University of Alabama established the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. The Center’s mission is to develop research, scholarships, and forums that advance the ethical practice of public relations. She chaired its advisory board until her death in May 2010.