John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award


Ernie Johnson Jr. (ABJ ’78), longtime host of TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” was the 2016 recipient.

He serves as a studio host and play-by-play announcer for TNT’s coverage of the PGA and as an MLB play-by-play announcer for TBS and Peachtree TV.

Johnson began his career at WMAZ in Macon and held positions in Spartanburg, S.C. and Atlanta before joining Turner Sports. He has received numerous awards for his work, including three sports Emmys for Best Studio Host. He is active in the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2007, he was the first recipient of Athletes in Action’s John Wooden Keys to Life Award, which honors people for such qualities as faith, integrity and character.


Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award

Michael Abramowitz (ABJ ’90), public relations manager for the PGA of America’s Membership, was the 2016 honoree. He is responsible for media relations and also currently handles corporate communications writing for the PGA’s board of directors and executive staff for speeches, press conferences, media interviews and events, such as the PGA Merchandise Show, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and PGA Annual Meeting.

Abramowitz spent five years at CNN Headline News as an editor, where he created “Play of the Day” and “Sports Trivia” for Headline News and CNN Airport Network; served as coordinating producer of the organization’s 1994 Winter Olympics coverage; and worked as a video editor for the O.J. Simpson Trial. In 1996, Abramowitz served as swimming venue press chief for the Paralympic Games, handling the worldwide media coverage.

John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award


Maria Taylor, 2016 recipient of the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award, is a college analyst and reporter across ESPN’s networks.

Taylor serves as a studio host, sideline reporter and volleyball/basketball analyst for the SEC Network.

Prior to joining ESPN, Taylor was a reporter, host and analyst for IMG College at the University of Georgia. During that time, she also freelanced at Comcast Sports South as a Georgia High School and SEC football sideline reporter and contributed to studio shows including “The Dawg Report,” “SEC Men’s Basketball Tonight” and “SportsNite.” Taylor has also worked as a freelance women’s basketball analyst for Fox Sports South, Raycom Sports, Turner Sports and the ACC Digital Network.

Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award

Eric Haley, 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award, is a professor in the School of Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee. He is an award-winning teacher and researcher. His research interests include a wide variety of advertising and society issues, advocacy advertising and account planning.

Haley is the author or co-author of over 35 published journal articles, and is an expert in paradigmatically qualitative research.  He presently serves as the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, and is the executive adviser for the journals of the American Academy of Advertising.

John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

1975 – Tom Johnson
1976 – Jasper Dorsey
1977 – Don Carter
1978 – Eugene Patterson
1979 – Bill Ray
1980 – Aubrey Morris
1981 – Frank Hawkins
1982 – William Ott
1983 – William S. Morris, III
1984 – James G. Minter, Jr.
1985 – Powell A. Moore
1986 – Eugene H. Methvin
1987 – Robert Sherrod
1988 – C. Richard Yarbrough
1989 – Randall E. Savage
1990 – Thomas C. Dowden
1991 – Willie K. Thrower Friar
1992 – Billy Watson
1993 – Connie Stewart
1994 – J. Carrol Dadisman
1995 – Harley Bowers
1996 – James P. Wooten
1997 – Jack Avrett
1998 – Earl Leonard
1999 – John Holliman, Jr.
2000 – Willis Johnson
2001 – Edwin Pope
2002 – Neil Aronstam
2003 – Dennis Berry
2004 – Harry Chapman
2005 – Dan Magill
2006 – Donald Perry
2007 – Millard Grimes
2008 – Carolyn Tieger
2009 – Judge R. Alex Crumbley
2010 – W.H. “Dink” NeSmith, Jr.
2011 – Roger Strauss

2012 – Edward Ingles
2013 – Claude Felton
2014 – Alan Griggs
2015 – Joel Babbit
2016 – Ernie Johnson Jr.

Henry W. Grady Award Recipients

1995 – Deborah L. Blum
1996 – Michelle Green
1997 – Bonnie Arnold
1998 – Bill Mattox
1999 – Dan Gearino
2000 – Walt Lloyd
2001 – Dawn McCall
2002 – Betty Hudson
2003 – Brenda Hampton
2004 – Lee Duffey
2005 – Randy Travis
2006 – Bill Dean
2007 – Jennifer Sloan
2008 – Gene Colter
2009 – Josh Jackson

John E. Drewry Award Recipients

1977 – Rex Granum
1978 – Roger Ann Jones
1979 – Rodney Allen Smith
1980 – Frank Compton
1981 – W.H. (Dink) Nesmith, Jr.
1982 – Betty Johnson Hudson
1983 – Dennis McClain
1984 – Mary Jo West
1985 – Ernest T. Johnson, Jr.
1986 – Deborah A. Norville
1987 – Lewis Grizzard
1988 – William R. Jones
1989 – Mary Anne Hill
1990 – Carolyn Carlson

1991 – Joel Babbit
1992 – Condace Pressley
1993 – Deborah Roberts
1994 – Hanna Ledford
1995 – Julie Bryan Moran
1996 – Timothy W. Mapes
1997 – Lauran Neergaard
1998 – Chip Caray
1999 – Chris Decherd
2000 – Michael Giarrusso
2001 – Todd Fantz
2002 – Amanda Rosseter
2003 – Christopher Grimes
2004 – Erin McClam
2005 – Tom Lasseter
2006 – Kyle Wingfield
2007 – Jon Gallo
2008 – Jessica Foster Bonner
2009 – Jennifer Rainey Marquez
2010 – Lynssey Gardner
2011 – Kelly Hornbuckle
2012 – Alex Wallace
2013 – Ben Mayer
2014 – Greg Bluestein
2015 – Dawn Brun
2016 – Maria Taylor

Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award Recipients

Grady College announces recipients of 2015 Alumni Awards
The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is pleased to honor four outstanding graduates with 2015 Alumni Awards. “Recipients of Grady's annual Alumni Awards serve as a vivid reminder of the excellence of our graduates, and of the varied paths they take upon graduation,” said Charles Davis, dean of the Grady […]
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Grady College honors recipients of 2014 Alumni Awards
, For demonstrated excellence throughout their distinguished careers, four graduates of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication have been named 2014 Alumni Award winners. Alan Griggs (ABJ '72) of Nashville, Tenn., received the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award; Amy Glennon (ABJ '90) of Atlanta was honored with the Henry […]
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Grady College names winners of 2016 Alumni Awards
For demonstrated excellence throughout their distinguished careers, four graduates of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication have been named 2016 Alumni Award winners. Ernie Johnson Jr. (ABJ ’78) receives the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award; Michael Abramowitz (ABJ ’90) is honored with the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award; […]
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