Honorees at Grady Salutes 2018 included Alumni Award winners Polina Marinova, Ashley Huston and Jisu Huh, and Grady Fellowship honorees Melita Easters, David Hazinski, Lisa Ryan Howard, Cully Clark and Lee Thomas. Sally Yates accepted her award in absentia, and Barry Hollander was inducted into the Sanford Circle.
Grady Salutes highlights the Grady family
In an evening filled with pride and celebration, there was also time to reflect on individuals who leave a lasting impact on Grady College, it students and alumni.
Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership was held April 27, 2018, at the University Center for Continuing Education and Hotel.
Brooke Anderson (ABJ ’90) and Dean Charles Davis emceed the ceremony recognizing Alumni Award winners, as well as inductees into the Grady Fellowship and Sanford Circle. Dana Todd (ABJ ’91), chair of the Grady Society Alumni Board, and Jennifer Sloan (ABJ ’86), chair of the Board of Trust, helped present the awards.
Polina Marinova (ABJ ’13), associate editor of Fortune Magazine, was awarded the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award. Marinova outlined three defining moments of her Grady College experience including convincing Conrad Fink to let her into his class before she was eligible, the time she became editor-in-chief of the Red & Black and finally, the mobilization of students who created a memorial fund in memory of the legacy of Barry Hollander. “Each of these defining moments taught me a specific life lesson: to learn from the best, execute on the things that matter and never forget to pay it forward when you can.”
Ashley Huston (ABJ ’96), former chief communications officer with Dow Jones Company, was honored with the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award. “Supporting quality journalism in whatever way that applies to you has literally never been more important, and I can’t wait to see the contributions of the future that’s represented in this room.” Huston concluded by saying she tries to live by the following characteristics: “Be authentic, be curious, be principled and be nice to people.”
Jisu Huh (MA ’00, PhD ‘03), the Raymond O. Mithun Endowed Chair in Advertising and Director of Graduate Studies at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, accepted the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. “Grady College is where I was born again as a scholar and being recognized as a distinguished scholar is an honor that means so much to me,” Huh said. She talked about the challenges she had coming to the United States from Korea, and credited her Grady professors who challenged and supported her and encouraged her to persevere.
Sally Yates (ABJ ’82, JD ‘86), former deputy attorney general of the United States, was unable to be present to receive the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, but accepted her honor from Diane Murray, director of alumni relations and outreach when she was on campus in March, and again from Sloan at a Women in the World Summit a few weeks ago. She video-taped a message relaying that although she was not a practicing journalist, “journalists and lawyers have something in common: we both are on a search for the truth. The principles that I learned in journalism school about the importance of the truth, about the crucial role that a free press plays in our democracy… those principles are more important today than ever before.”
The late Barry Hollander was inducted into the Sanford Circle, a posthumous honor for people whose achievement and generous spirit remain at Grady College.
“He would have loved the posts and Hollanderisms that you have shared.” She added that she and their children were touched by the support fund created by alumni in his honor. “He would take great comfort in knowing that you, his students, would continue your education and benefit now that he is gone.”
Five alumni and friends were inducted into the Grady Fellowship, an honorary recognizing accomplishments, friendship and service.
Highlights from those inductions included:
Melita Easters (ABJ ’76), executive director of Georgia’s WIN List and former chairman of the Red & Black Board, was introduced as a modern renaissance woman and a champion for journalism. “Being a journalist was the perfect starting point for all my subsequent professional and volunteer activities,” Easters, who is also a playwright, said.
Lisa Ryan Howard (ABJ ’92), senior vice president and general manager of media at The New York Times, had several family members attend the ceremony with her, including her two teenage children, a niece and nephew. Speaking to them, she said: “As you all are embarking on your journey to think about college and education and career…think about the relationships that you are going to foster with the faculty at the university or college that you will attend, because for me they have been critical in my career and in my success. Perhaps you will be as lucky as I was and have them help support you and promote you.”
Lee Thomas (ABJ ’87), deputy commissioner at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and division director of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, helps oversee Georgia’s $9.5 billion film production impact. She thanked her work colleagues for their support and help making the state a the top location in the United States for film and television production.
E. Culpepper “Cully” Clark, is a professor, historian and dean emeritus of Grady College, a position he called a dream job. The creation of the Grady Fellowship was his idea 10 years ago. “So much is said about the Grady spirit. It changed me and confirmed for me everything that I believed to be important and good and worthy.”
“That’s the one thing I’ve always believed in, is that this was a profession, this was a calling, this was something that was important for democracy.”
David Hazinski is retiring this year after spending more than 30 years as a professor at Grady College. In his introduction, Anderson commented that it was Hazinski who inspired her and countless others who went through the broadcast journalism program at Grady College. In his acceptance speech, Hazinski said: “I got the best end of this deal…I got to work with spectacular students. I’ve had a long and mostly successful career in what I believe is an honorable profession. That’s the one thing I’ve always believed in: that this was a profession, this was a calling, this was something that was important for democracy.” He also talked about his commitment to his students. “That’s what all this is for, it’s for them. It’s always what I’ve tried to be about…to have students at the center of this so that they get something out of it. I know you are here to honor me and I appreciate that, but know that honoring me, in fact honors them, and for that, I am grateful.”
Pictures from the evening can be viewed in the 2018 Grady Salutes photo gallery on the UGAGrady Flickr account.