PNJ Legacy Feature

By Melissa Ziobro 

Since its founding in 1978, Preservation NJ has been stewarded by some of the state’s most dedicated and respected professionals in the field of history and historic preservation. We’d like to offer PNJ’s heartiest congratulations to one of our past board members, Linda P. Shockley, who recently won the 2022 Richard J. Hughes Award from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Linda P. Shockley

The Richard J. Hughes Award recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of New Jersey history. It is given annually by the Historical Commission to an individual “in recognition of a series of contributions in the areas of scholarship, public history, conservation and preservation, and teaching.” All of the Historical Commission’s 2022 award winners were feted at an event on Wednesday, March 8 at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton.

Other recent winners of the prestigious Richard J. Hughes Award include Dr. Joseph Salvatore, Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum (2021), Thomas D’Amico, Supervising Planner/Historic Sites Coordinator, Somerset County Planning Division (2020), and Karl Niederer, NJ State Archives (2019).

Linda Shockley has a diverse and inspiring background. She is president and a founding member of the Lawnside Historical Society, Inc., in Lawnside, New Jersey. The Society restored and owns the Peter Mott House Underground Railroad Museum. According to the NJ Historic Trust, “The 1845 Peter Mott House is the oldest known house in the community of Lawnside, which was founded as a free African-American settlement. Residents interested in the Borough’s rich history united to prevent the house’s demolition by a developer, who eventually donated the house to the newly formed Lawnside Historical Society.”

In addition to serving as secretary of Preservation NJ, Linda has also acted as a commissioner of the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission and member of the New Jersey Review Board for Historic Sites.

Linda’s resume reveals that her accolades and awards are many. She was a Getty Diversity Scholar through the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She is a deacon at Grace Temple Baptist Church, Lawnside, where she co-chairs the Culture and Black History Ministry. She has been honored with the Beulah Oliphant Award by the Old Barracks Museum, Trenton. She has also been cited by the Camden County Girl Scouts as a Woman of Achievement, 100 Black Women, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Camden County East Branch of the NAACP for her work with historic preservation.

The dynamic Shockley also had a successful career in the field of journalism. She is the retired managing director of the Dow Jones News Fund, where she worked for 32 years promoting careers in journalism and diversity in the news industry. She is a former education reporter and editor for Gannett Suburban Newspapers in Westchester County, New York. She has been honored for her work by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the National Scholastic Press Association, the Journalism Education Association, and the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Linda’s long and storied career inspires us, and she shows no signs of slowing down. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for her, and are proud to call her one of PNJ’s own!