Fellow Profile: Chris Clark

Anyone who has lived in middle Tennessee from the mid-1960s to 2007, probably knows the name and face of Chris Clark. Clark was the lead news anchor at WTVF in Nashville, a station he joined in 1966.  He retired in 2007 after 41 years, making him one of the longest-tenured anchors in American television history.

Today, Clark is an adjunct professor of broadcast journalism at Middle Tennessee State University.  In 2007, he was appointed to the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at the university, leading to his current position as adjunct professor.

Clark is one of six people who will be inducted into the 2020 class of Grady Fellows, a recognition honoring friends of the college whose accomplishments, friendship and service to the industries they serve have made a positive impact on the college and its students.

Clark began his broadcast career at UGA.

“I can only describe my experiences at the University of Georgia as transformative,” Clark said.

In addition to his journalism studies, he was on the debate society, Gridiron Secret Society and ATO fraternity. He also worked part-time at an Athens-area radio station.

“The owner of the station, H. Randolph Holder, became one of my mentors second only to my favorite professor, Worth McDougald,” Clark said. “Worth was such an influence on my professional development that when I started teaching at Middle Tennessee State University, I modeled my teaching style on his.  Without Worth’s influence and wise counsel, I doubt I would have been as successful as I have been. He had a way of inspiring students to be their best.”

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Clark worked in his hometown as a reporter and anchor following graduation and before transferring to WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia, to serve as news director and anchor.

In the earlier years of joining WTVF, Clark also served as the station’s news director, leading the station’s conversion from film to electronic news coverage, among the first to convert to what is now the broadcast standard throughout the world. It was also during this time that Clark hired a 19-year-old named Oprah Winfrey as Nashville’s first African-American female anchor.

Clark has been active with the Nashville Rotary for several years and has served on numerous boards and committees including the national board of the Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the national board of the Radio and Television News Directors Association. In 1993, Chris was awarded an Emmy from the Middle Tennessee chapter of National Association of Television Arts and Sciences for lifetime achievement in broadcast journalism.  The Associated Press also presented him with its “Broadcaster of the Year” award.  Chris has been awarded several other Emmys for his reporting.

In addition to Clark, other members of the 2020 Fellowship class include Allison Ausband (ABJ ’83), Eugenia Harvey (ABJ ’82), Carol Ramos-Helton (ABJ ’79) and Dick Helton, and Ken Woo (ABJ ’78).

 

The Fellowship induction, along with recognition of the 2020 Alumni Awards, is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Oct. 1 at Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership. For more details or to order tickets, visit the Grady Salutes webpage.

Alumni Awards profile: Lindsey Cook

Lindsey Cook (ABJ ’14) found her knack for journalism in is the details.

“My education and experience at Grady has been invaluable as I started and built my career in data journalism,” Cook said. “From Grady and my work at The Red & Black, I graduated with strong writing skills and an ability to write quickly, which benefited me greatly at the beginning of my career.”

Cook is the 2020 recipient of the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award which recognizes a graduate of the last decade who has experienced a successful early career.

She joins Purvi Farahi (ABJ ’95) and Monica Pearson (MA ’14) as  2020 alumni award winners.

Cook and colleagues focus on data analysis.

Cook conceived, piloted, and now leads data trainings for reporters and editors, and assists journalists with compiling data for stories. She worked with reporters and editors covering the Trump administration on digital-first storytelling and digital strategy. 

Cook graduated from the Women’s Leadership Program at Yale’s School of Management in 2019, a program designed for women in management prepare for future leadership roles. She also taught data journalism at the graduate level for American University, as an adjunct professor, both in Fall 2015 and Spring 2017.

Previously, she worked at U.S. News & World Report as the data editor for news.

She frequently speaks to groups of students, both in high school and college, most recently at George Washington University, CUNY, two Girls Who Code Programs, NYT’s Summer Institute and UGA. She’s been a volunteer with Safehouse Outreach in Atlanta for many years and has participated in women’s drives, school drives and holiday gift drives through the Times.

She is also a novelist. Her first book, “How to Bury Your Brother,” comes out in May 2020.

 

The 2020 Alumni Awards presentation, along with the Fellows induction, will take place Thursday, Oct. 1 at Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership. For more details or to order tickets, visit the Grady Salutes webpage.

Grady Salutes to honor Alumni Award winners and Fellowship inductees; Dominic Brown to emcee the event

Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership, is set to take place Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at the Athens Cotton Press at 149 Oneta St. The event will consist of an honors ceremony and auction that is to be participated in at the event or remotely.

Dominic Brown (ABJ ‘05), chief meteorologist at WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina, will emcee the event.

The annual Grady Salutes event recognizes honorees of Grady College.

Alumni Award recipients who will be recognized this year include:

  • Lindsey Cook (ABJ ’14)
  • Purvi Farahi (ABJ ’95)
  • Monica Pearson (MA ’14)

 

Five alumni and friends will be inducted into the Grady Fellowship, an honor recognizing accomplishments, friendships and service. Those inductees include:

  • Allison Ausband (ABJ ’83)
  • Chris Clark (ABJ ’61)
  • Carol Ramos-Helton (ABJ ’79) and Dick Helton
  • Eugenia Harvey (ABJ ’82)
  • Ken Woo (ABJ ’78)

To purchase tickets and sponsorships please click here.

Grady Salutes Auction

Grady Salutes will again feature a silent auction with proceeds benefitting the Georgia Fund for Grady. The Auction is open to all, and early and remote bidding access will be available.

Auction items made possible by alumni and friends of Grady include:

  • Two First Class Tickets Any-where with Delta Air Lines
  • “The Premier Suite” Experience in the New State Farm Arena with the Atlanta Hawks
  • Quail Hunting Excursion
  • UGA Homecoming Weekend Football Experience
  • UGA Photo Opportunity with Jon Michael Sullivan
  • Colorado Condo Getaway
  • Sea Island Getaway
  • NYC Experience

More auction items to be announced at a later time.

Grady Salutes celebrates alumni and friends

Nearly 200 alumni, faculty, students and friends celebrated Grady College and its 2019 honorees on April 26 at the Athens Cotton Press during the annual Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Leadership and Commitment.

Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ ’08) emceed the evening along with Dean Charles Davis, and the event was produced by Jody Danneman (ABJ ’88) and Atlanta Image Arts.

Alumni award honorees included:

    • Chris Holcomb (ABJ ’85) received John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, and as the Lifetime Achievement recipient, Holcomb was also inducted into the Grady Fellowship. Holcomb talked his journey that has led him to his role as chief meteorologist at WXIA-TV and the sacrifices his parents made so that he could attend the University of Georgia. “They would be so proud to know that the same school that they saved to pay tuition is now honoring their boy.”
    • Henry “Hadjii” Hand (ABJ ’98) is the recipient of this year’s Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award. The screenwriter and producer, who also teaches in Grady’s MFA screenwriting program, spoke about his relationships with those who helped him get to where he is today, including his mentor, Nate Kohn, who directs the MFA program. “You don’t get to these moments in life by yourself,” Hand said. “It really takes a village.”
    • Angela Alfano (ABJ ’10) received the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award. Alfano, who is director of corporate communications for Major League Soccer, has been in sports marketing and communications throughout her young career, including her introductory role with Georgia Athletics while she was still a student. “Like any good football loving Bulldog, while at UGA I learned the importance of fourth and goal on the field, but it was my “professional coaches” – my Grady teachers and mentors – who taught me about fourth and goal in life…taught me how it takes dedication, heart and a commitment to excellence to become a champion off the field.”
    • James “Ford” Risley (MA ’92) accepted the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. Risley is professor of communications and associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University, but earned his master’s degree at Grady College and his Ph.D. at the University of Florida at the same time that Dean Charles Davis earned doctorate degree from Florida. “I’m so grateful I pursued my master’s here,” Risley said. “I learned the importance of teaching and scholarship.”

    The Sanford Circle induction, a posthumous honor presented to someone whose spirit remains

    Charles Hayslett accepted the Sanford Circle induction on behalf of his good friend, the late Tom Crawford. “He was also my good and great friend, maybe the best I ever had, and I was privileged to be his,” Hayslett said of Crawford.

    with Grady College was presented to Tom Crawford (ABJ ’72), founder and editor of “The Georgia Report.” The honor was accepted by his good friend, Charles Hayslett (ABJ ’73). Hayslett began his comments: “Live as long as I have and you’ll come to appreciate things that might have gotten past you in your youth.  One is to recognize greatness when it crosses your path.  Another is to value good friends. In Tom Crawford, I guess you’d have to say I had a two-fer.”

    Honorees inducted into the Grady Fellowship included:

    • Connie Ledoux Book (PhD ’93). Book, the president of Elon University, accepted her induction in absentia via a recorded message. “It was at Grady that I learned the power of asking good questions,” Book said. “Like so many of you, I credit my time at UGA and Grady faculty and staff to my career, character and leadership.”
    • Richard Griffiths, a former CNN executive and current president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, spoke of his involvement with Grady College students through his role as an Cox Institute Industry Fellow. “Having a 43-year career in journalism and having the opportunity to share my mistakes with unsuspecting journalism students is a dream come true,” Griffiths said. He ended his presentation with a tribute to journalistic freedom and three journalists who have been killed, held hostage or arrested in recent weeks: Lyra McKee, Austin Tice and Maria Ressa.
    • Dean Krugman, who is a professor emeritus of advertising from Grady College and the founder of the Cox International Center, spoke about his love for the faculty and students. “I had a beacon that served me well,” Krugman said. “I got to come to Grady every day and engage with very bright students, where learning often went both ways.”
    Connie Ledoux Book was not able to attend, but sent a recorded message of thanks for her Fellowship induction.
    • Carole Munroe (ABJ ’82), the current senior director of brand communications for portfolio, loyalty and content for Hilton Worldwide and the former director of public relations and content relations for Disney Parks, drew on the leadership and loyalty lessons of the two men who founded those companies, Conrad Hilton and Walt Disney. She also drew on lessons from her mother and from Coretta Scott King, who Munroe was fortunate to work for as an intern for during her time at Grady College. “At the end of the day,” Munroe said, “real leadership is defined by servitude to others.”
    • Brian Robinson (ABJ ’97), who runs his own political communications firm, Robinson Republic, and is the former deputy chief of staff for communications for former Gov. Nathan Deal, talked about the hard skills he learned at Grady College and the role they had in his career success. He also talked about his pride in being a Georgia game, and that he is “especially proud to be a Grady Dawg.”

    The evening concluded with a dessert reception and the conclusion of the Grady Salutes auction, which brought in $20,000 for the general fund for Grady.

     

     

    Additional Grady Salutes assets:

    • View the Grady Salutes Flickr album to see pictures from the event
    • To view pre-event interviews with our honorees, please view the following Facebook links:

    Charles Davis; Chris Holcomb; Hadjii Hand; Angela Alfano; Richard Griffiths; Dean Krugman; Carole Munroe; Brian Robinson

    • Grady Salutes 2019 featured an evening celebrating Grady College, its alumni and its friends. The event took place at the Athens Cotton Press. Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ '08) emceed the evening along with Dean Charles Davis. Alumni award honorees included: ¥ Chris Holcomb (ABJ Õ85), John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. As the Lifetime Achievement recipient, Holcomb was also inducted into the Grady Fellowship. ¥ Henry ÒHadjiiÓ Hand (ABJ Õ98), the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award ¥ Angela Alfano (ABJ Õ10), the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award ¥ James ÒFordÓ Risley (MA Õ92), the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award Honorees inducted into the Grady Fellowship included: ¥ Connie Ledoux Book (PhD Õ93) ¥ Richard Griffiths ¥ Dean Krugman ¥ Carole Munroe (ABJ Õ82) ¥ Brian Robinson (ABJ Õ97) Charles Hayslett (ABJ '73), accepted the Sanford Circle induction on behalf of his good friend, the late Tom Crawford (ABJ '72). Athens, Georgia, on Friday, April 26, 2019 Photos: Sarah E. Freeman

Grady Salutes celebration honors Alumni Award winners and Fellowship inductees; Jennifer Bellamy to emcee the event

Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership, takes place April 26 at a new location this year — the Athens Cotton Press at 149 Oneta St. In addition to honoring award winners, the event will also include an auction which people can participate in at the event and digitally from remote locations.

Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ ’08), a reporter for WXIA-TV, will emcee the event.

The annual Grady Salutes event recognizes honorees of Grady College.

Alumni Award recipients who will be recognized this year include:

• Chris Holcomb (ABJ ’85) will receive the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. As the Lifetime Achievement recipient, Holcomb will also be inducted into the Grady Fellowship.
• Henry “Hadjii” Hand (ABJ ’98) will be honored with the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award
• Angela Alfano (ABJ ’10) will be awarded the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award
• James “Ford” Risley (MA ’92) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award

Five alumni and friends will be inducted into the Grady Fellowship, an honor recognizing accomplishments, friendship and service. Those inductees include:

• Connie Ledoux Book (PhD ’93)
• Richard Griffiths
• Dean Krugman
• Carole Munroe (ABJ ’82)
• Brian Robinson (ABJ ’97)

Tom Crawford will be inducted into the Sanford Circle (photo: Jennifer Stalcup)

Tom Crawford (ABJ ’72), the founder and editor of “The Georgia Report” (known early on as “Capitol Impact”) for more than 18 years, will be inducted posthumously into the Sanford Circle.

Reservations for Grady Salutes are now closed.  However, we do have a limited amount of tickets remaining for the evening.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Karen Andrews at KarenA@uga.edu.

Grady Salutes Auction

New to the event this year is an auction which anybody can participate in, whether they are Grady College alumni or not, or whether they are attending the Grady Salutes event or not.

To bid, participants can visit the Grady Salutes Auction website or text “Grady19” to 52182.

Auction items include:

  • Two Cannes Film Festival Tickets and Getaway (value $510)
  • Four premium Braves Tickets (donated by SunTrust — value $195)
  • Premier Suite to an Atlanta Hawks Game (donated by Steve Koonin — value $1,500)
  • Two first-class Delta Tickets flying anywhere in the world (donated by Delta — value $8,000)
  • Two tickets to the 2020 Peabody Awards in Los Angeles (donated by Peabody Awards — value $420)

All proceeds benefit the Georgia Fund for Grady.

 

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.

Highlights among the Alumni Award recipients included:

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.

Diane Murray presented Sally Yates with her John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in March, when Yates was on campus.
Diane Murray presented Sally Yates with her John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in March, when Yates was on campus.

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.”

Edith Hollander, Barry Hollander’s wife, accepted his award and said Barry would have never expected this honor. “Truth be told,” she added, “he would question your judgement.”
Edith Hollander, Barry Hollander’s wife, accepted his award and said Barry would have never expected this honor. “Truth be told,” she added, “he would question your judgement.”

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


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.

Videos of the speeches will be available in the next few weeks on the Grady Salutes webpage.

To nominate someone for the 2019 Alumni Awards, please visit the Alumni Awards nomination form online.

Grady Salutes to honor Grady Alumni Award recipients and inductees into the Grady Fellowship and Sanford Circle

Brooke Anderson to emcee event

Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership, takes place April 27 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel.

Brooke Anderson (ABJ ’00), a Grady alumna and correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight,” will emcee the event.

The annual Grady Salutes event recognizes honorees of Grady College.

Alumni Award recipients who will be recognized this year include:

  • Sally Yates (ABJ ’82, JD ‘86), who will receive the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, in absentia
  • Ashley Huston (ABJ ’96) who will be honored with the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award
  • Polina Marinova (ABJ ’13) will be awarded the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award
  • Jisu Huh (MA ’00, PhD ‘03) who will receive the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award

Five alumni and friends will be inducted into the Grady Fellowship, an honorary recognizing accomplishments, friendship and service. Those inductees include:

  • Culpepper “Cully” Clark
  • Melita Easters (ABJ ’76)
  • David Hazinski
  • Lisa Ryan Howard (ABJ ’92)
  • Lee Thomas (ABJ ’87)

Barry Hollander, a revered professor who died earlier this year, will be inducted posthumously into the Sanford Circle.

A few tickets remain for the event. Contact Karen Andrews by email at karena@uga.edu for details.

Grady Salutes honors alumni, provides advice for students

In a room full of Grady College luminaries, Grady Fellow inductee Suzy Deering said it best when she talked about how humbled she was to be among the honorees.

“When you see these amazing people that walk this stage…that walk our world… and the change that they are making happen, you’ve got to feel so proud that you can call this, the University of Georgia, your home, but more importantly, that Grady is your family.”

Deering was one of ten honorees at the 2017 Grady Salutes: A Celebration of Achievement, Commitment and Leadership on April 28, 2017, in the UGA Tate Grand Hall.

Alumni Awards winners included: Bonnie Arnold (ABJ’ 77), John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award; Jason Kreher (ABJ ’00), Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award; Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11), John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award; and Jane B. Singer (ABJ ’76), Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award.

The 2017 Class of Grady Fellows were Deering, Philip Meeks (ABJ ’76), Amy Robach (ABJ ’95), Carla Sacks (ABJ ’88) and Kathleen Trocheck (ABJ ’76). Arnold also was inducted into the Fellowship.

Loran Smith (ABJ ’62) received the Dean’s Medal.

From remembrances of faculty inspiration and cultural impacts like Watergate, to heart-felt cheers of ‘Go Dawgs,’ each honoree added to the flavor of the evening.

  • Brooke Beach started out her comments saying it was not long ago that she was attending the awards ceremony as a student and a Grady Ambassador. Beach said: “to the students who may be looking at the stage wondering the same thing that I did, ‘will I ever be up there,’ my charge to you is this…to never stop dreaming, to work really hard, stay positive and treat others well. If you do those things, you may surprise yourself with the stage you end up on.”
  • Jason Kreher used his time on stage to implore the audience to focus on the subject of diversity. “What we all have in common in the room is storytelling and diversity has got to be one of our key priorities. In my 17 years here, I am watching that slowly start to change, but slowly is the key. Everyone in this room has the ability to speed that up.”
  • Bonnie Arnold, along with Trocheck later in the program, talked about the influence of Watergate, which was in the headlines during her time at Grady College. “This situation dramatically demonstrated the power and importance of investigative reporting. It aroused the passion in young people like myself, providing further inspiration to join the profession dedicated to finding the facts and getting the story. My career ultimately revolved into a different realm of storytelling, filmmaking, but journalism is something I revere. This is why I am so encouraged today to see young people again being galvanized by the news of our time.”
  • Jane Singer, who teaches in London, could not attend Grady Salutes, but her good friend Janice Hume, read a note of thanks from Singer. “One of the greatest privileges of life in a democratic society is asking questions. And, one of greatest rewards is uncovering answers that lead to new questions. This ongoing pursuit of understanding, combined with insight, fueled by curiosity, is at the heart of journalism and at the heart of academic research, too.” Singer will be presented her award this summer by some Grady students who are studying in Oxford, England.
  • Suzy Deering talked about the foundation her classes at Grady College provided in preparing her for unknown adventures ahead. “The first step was getting into the University of Georgia, then it was actually taking the steps to make sure I was well-prepared for what my next adventure was. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to prepare me for that next adventure.”
  • Phil Meeks channeled musician Bob Dylan for the basis of his comments when he talked about Dylan’s lyrics, ‘if you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.’ “To me, that exemplifies getting better every day, and evolving and growing as a person, and a lot of that journey began for me here on this campus.”
  • Amy Robach began her talk with an admission that journalism was a back-up plan to being an actress, but that once she started, she fell in love with storytelling and journalism. He classes taught her how to be fair and compassionate and gave her confidence for her first job. “I am so proud to be a Bulldawg and so proud to be a graduate of Grady College because this is the reason why I am a journalist. This school is the reason why I have the career I have. I truly credit this university and this college, specifically, with giving me the most magical, beautiful career because it’s a lot better than being an actress.”
  • Carla Sacks talked about her time working at WUOG while she was a student at Grady College. She met her husband at Grady, and while she thought she wanted to be a documentary filmmaker, she went on to create one of the largest PR agencies representing musicians and filmmakers. “Be open-minded, because you never know what’s around the corner.”
  • Kathy Trocheck talked about how her background in journalism has inspired her to excel at writing fiction. Her work at the Red & Black was her learning lab. “I learned to ask important questions. I didn’t learn to just ask questions, I learned to ask follow-up questions. I learned to listen and listen to the way people spoke.” She concluded with thoughts about the journalism profession: “Journalists, students, I honestly believe you are doing the most important work you can do. You are doing the work that needs to be done. I am inspired by you.”
  • Loran Smith closed the ceremony by taking a cue from the late Furman Bisher who wrote an annual Thanksgiving column. “Thanksgiving is something most Americans can celebrate every day,” Smith began. “I am thankful to be a graduate of Grady. I am thankful for our ebullient dean. Charles has credentials, vision and a fine sense of direction for our school.” He continued with words of thankfulness for Grady’s faculty, the Peabody awards and “students who will be world-changers as we move forward in this century.” He also spoke about the influence of another Grady alumnus, Dan Magill (ABJ ’42) “I am thankful that a Grady titan, the late Dan Magill allowed a country boy to learn that you can travel the world and enjoy its delights but there’s no place like home, especially if home is Athens.”

A Grady Salutes 2017 photo album can be found on the UGAGrady Flickr page, and select interviews through Facebook Live can be found the UGAGrady Facebook feed.