Three longtime Washington Post employes received the third annual Eugene Meyer awards yesterday for their contributions to the content, administration and production of the newspaper.

Elsie Carper, assistant managing editor for administration; Sue Oremland, an outside sales representative, and Beverly (Penny) Pendergast, assistant production manager were the recipients.

Publisher Donald Graham and Chairman of the Board of The Washington Post Company Katharine Graham presented each with an inscribed plaque and check for $5,000 at a reception at The Post building. The award is named for Mrs. Graham's father, a financier who bought the struggling newspaper at a bankruptcy sale in 1933. About 1,000 of the newspaper's 3,000 employes attended the reception.

Carper joined the newspaper in 1939, and since then has worked in numerous positions before her current one, including reporter, editor and personnel manager. Oremland started at The Post in 1938 and has spent most of her career in the classified department, while Pendergast, who came to the newspaper as an inserter in 1949, has spent most of his career in the pressroom.

"It's a dream come true," said Oremland. "My career at The Post has been so rewarding because of the people I've worked with, I've worked for and whom I've known."

"No one since 1938 has sold ads harder than Sue," said Donald Graham. He pointed out that in seeking advertising from restaurants she would sometimes "help out with the dishes and answering the phones."

"I have been enormously lucky," said Carper, who covered some of The Post's most important news stories, including the civil rights demonstrations in the South and the struggle for home rule in the District of Columbia.

"I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this honor in the name of Mr. Meyer," said Carper.

"I feel very fortunate to have been with the Post through the years of expansion," said Pendergast. He was hailed as one of the nation's leading experts on printing presses. It was noted that his association with the paper began when he was in the sixth grade, when he had a 30-paper delivery route.

"They personify the values that Eugene Meyer most cared about," said Katharine Graham. "I know my father would be proud of their achievements."