UGA’s Grady College hosts first Conrad Fink Professional-in-Residence

ATHENS, Ga. – A New York-based reporter for the internationally renowned Financial Times newspaper next week will be the first journalist to visit the University of Georgia under a new program designed to make professionals available to journalism students.

Chris Grimes, a 1992 graduate of the UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, will spend the week meeting classes and mentoring students under the college’s new Conrad Fink Professional-in-Residence Program.

Grimes, who joined The Financial Times in 2000, will tell students about his coverage of the troubled merger of AOL and Time Warner, the rise and fall of Napster and other important media and financial stories he has reported.

The Conrad Fink Professional-in-Residence program will bring media and communication professionals to campus every year to work with students and faculty in the Grady College.

“This program provides students and faculty the opportunity to stay connected with the ‘working world,’” said John Soloski, dean of the Grady College. “The outcomes of such programs as internships, recruiting opportunities and professional partnerships help strengthen the relationship between the industry and Grady College students and faculty.”

The program is named in honor of Conrad Fink, who for more than two decades has taught and mentored aspiring journalists in the Grady College. Before coming to the UGA, Fink worked for 21 years with the Associated Press as a reporter, editor, foreign correspondent and vice president.

“Our students will benefit enormously from the continuing presence of professionals in the classroom, which this program will guarantee,” Fink said. “It is an honor to have my name associated with the program.”

Grimes studied under Fink in the early 90s. “Conrad Fink is a great teacher in the classroom, but what makes him an extraordinary educator is his willingness to counsel his students outside of class,” Grimes said. “In his office – and, still today, on the phone – Fink has counseled, advised and chastised me. The man loves teaching, he cares about his students, and he loves journalism. I feel privileged to have had him as a teacher, and I am comforted by the knowledge that he still takes my calls.”

Grimes began his career in 1993 at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a general assignment reporter, and in 1996 was hired by Dow Jones News Service in New York to cover the high technology industry, just as the frenzy for Internet stocks was beginning. Dow Jones promoted Grimes to senior reporter in 1999.

“Chris Grimes is a most appropriate first Conrad Fink Professional-in-Residence,” said Kent Middleton, chair of the Department of Journalism. “An outstanding journalism student while at UGA, Grimes returns to Grady and The Red & Black as an outstanding young professional.”

Substantial funding for the Conrad Fink Professional-in-Residence Program came from the James M. Cox Jr. Foundation, which for many years has funded the college’s Cox Institute for Newspaper Management Studies and the Cox Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research. Additional funds were provided by The Red & Black, the independent campus newspaper, newspapers in Georgia and the Southeast, alumni and friends of the Grady College.

Harry Montevideo, publisher of The Red & Black, said, “We’re excited about partnering with the Grady College to support the program, a most fitting tribute to such a long-time, staunch supporter of The Red and Black and print journalism. The visiting professionals will have an impact that not only invigorates our student staff, but gives them an excellent perspective on life after graduation.”

The London-based Financial Times, recognized worldwide for its authoritative, accurate and analytical reporting, is one of the world’s leading English-language news organizations. The newspaper is printed in 21 cities throughout the world. It has a daily circulation of more than 460,000 copies, more than one million readers and is available in 140 countries.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication provides seven undergraduate majors: advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. In addition, the college offers three graduate degrees, and it is home to the Peabody Awards, one of the premier programs in broadcasting.