California Missions Awards


The California Missions Awards recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in the areas of study, preservation, restoration, and interpretation of the California Missions and other related historic sites and to meritorious service to the California Missions Foundation and California Mission Studies Association.

The Norman Neuerburg Awards

The Norman Neuerburg Award recognizes outstanding contributions towards the study and preservation of California's missions, presidios, pueblos, and ranchos. The award also serves to encourage and highlight current scholarship.

Award Criteria: The Norman Neuerburg award is to be conferred upon individuals or groups who have furthered goals of the California Missions Foundation to preserve, advance, and promote California's pre-statehood historical, architectural, archaeological, museum, and archival resources. The award serves to encourage and highlight current scholarship relevant to these goals.

Biographies of the Norman Neuerburg Award Recipients

The Edna E. Kimbro Awards

In early 2006, CMSA's Executive Board decided that CMSA should have an award to recognize that, from its inception, CMSA's goals have been broad, interdisciplinary, and inclusive. CMSA charter member Edna Kimbro gave voice to the founders' aims in the inaugural issue of the CMSA Newsletter, and her hopes for CMSA, as she stated them in 1984, are reflected today in the broad spectrum of interests, professions, and points of view of the members of the California Missions Foundation.

The Board wanted a means of recognizing the energy and perserverance shown by the organization’s members in pursuing their interests in mission period studies. The Board concluded it is fitting that it be named for Edna, who helped get CMSA off to a lively start and who helped shape the organization into the vital, diverse organization it is today.

Biographies of the Edna E. Kimbro Award Recipients

Chairman's Award (Formerly President's Award)

Given annually, this award recognizes individuals who have made a great impact on the studies of early California history and/or preservation of historic sites in their respective communities. This award is usually tied in with the location of the annual California Missions Conference, giving CMF the opportunity to recognize individuals who have contributed tremendously on the local and regional level.

Biographies of Chairman's Award Recipients

Knox Mellon Lifetime Achievement Award

Given annually, this award recognizes individuals who have made a great impact on the studies of early California history and/or preservation of historic sites in their respective communities.

Biographies of Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Nomination Procedures for the Norman Neuerburg and Edna E. Kimbro Awards

A three-person Award Selection Committee shall be selected by the CMF Board of Directors. Letters of nomination outlining a candidate's qualifications shall be sent to the current Chair of the committee, in care of: California Missions Foundation, P.O. Box 23035, Santa Barbara, CA 93121 or

All CMF members may nominate a candidate. At a minimum, the letter shall include: a brief history of the candidate's involvement with the study of California's pre-statehood past, a summary of major contribution(s), and any other reasons that make the nominee exceptional in meeting the goals of CMF. If only a small number of nominations are made, the committee may make additional suggestions.

Candidate Selection: The award committee will select and recommend a candidate to the full Board of Directors. The Board may accept or decline the selected candidate.

Award Presentation: A plaque or framed certificate naming the award and the nominee will be created. Awards will be announced at the annual meeting banquet. CMF will present the award to the recipient at the Annual California Missions Conference. Award presentations will summarize the recipient's major contribution(s) to the preservation and study of early California history. A longer announcement will appear in CMF’s newsletter and website.

Norman Neuerburg and Edna Kimbro

Norman Neuerburg and Edna Kimbro

Neuerburg Award Recipients

2024 Damian Bacich, Ph.D.
2023 Dr. Lee Panich
2022 Dr. Robert H. Jackson
2021 Dr. Steven W. Hackel
2020 Alan S. Kemp
2019 Richard Carrico
2018 Dr. Iris Engstrand
2018 Brian Kelly
2017 Marie Christine Duggan
2016 Ruben G. Mendoza
2015 Russell Skowronek
2014 Glenn Farris
2013 Michael Imwalle
2012 Kent Lightfoot
2011 Jack Williams
2011 John Waren
2010 Knox Mellon
2009 Alan K. Brown
2008 Bernard "Bunny" Fontana
2007 Randall Milliken
2006 Rose Marie Beebe
and Robert Senkewicz
2005 Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.
and Msgr. Francis J. Weber
2004 Dr. Robert L. Hoover
2003 Edna E. Kimbro
2002 Harry W. Crosby
2001 Jarrell C. Jackman
2000 John R. Johnson

Neuerburg Award Recipient Biographies


Kimbro Award Recipients

2024 Jeffrey M. Burns
2023 Charlene Duvall
2022 Martha McGettigan
2021 Andrew Galvin
2020 Mary Susa
2019 Carol Kenyon
2018 Theresa Brunner
2017 Milford Wayne Donaldson
2016 David A. Bolton
2015 Elizabeth Waldo
2014 Daniel Krieger
2013 Janet Bartel
2012 Bill Fairbanks
2011 Helen Nelson
2010 Craig Russell
2009 Laurence K. Gould, Jr.
2008 Julia Costello
2007 Kristina Foss
2006 Kenneth Pauley

Kimbro Award Recipient Biographies


Chairman's Award Recipients

2024 Shyra Liguori
2024 Mission La Purisima Prelados
2022 Docents, Mission San Luis Obispo
2022 Robert Powers
2021 Julia Bogany (deceased)
2021 Fr. John Molyneux & Terri Huerta
2020 Mary Wood
2020 Joan Steele
2020 Mission Carmel Docents
2019 Ignacio Felix Cota
2019 Docents at Mission San Juan Capistrano
2019 Dr. Rose Marie Beebe
2019 Dr. Robert Senkewicz
2018 Mechelle Lawrence-Adams
2017 Sheila Benedict
2017 John O. Jenkins
2017 Edith Piness
2016 Jarrell C. Jackman
2016 Philip Hudner
2015 Michael R. Hardwick
2014 John Warren
2013 Jeremy Hass
2013 Mary Louise Days
2012 Stephen T. Hearst
& Hearst Family
2012 Betty Goerke

Chairman's Award Recipient Biographies


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

2024 Bill Fairbanks
2023 Fray Francisco Morales, O.F.M.
2022 Dr. Robert L. Hoover
2022 Dr. Daniel E. Krieger
2021 Zella and Hernan Ibañez
2020 Dr. Knox Mellon