Campus News

$2 million gift to create media professorships, fund business facilities

A $2 million gift from one of Georgia’s most well-known leaders in media and business will enhance both fields of study at UGA.

The gift from James “Jim” Cox Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises Inc., will establish four professorships in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and help fund construction of new facilities for the Terry College of Business.

“We are grateful to Jim Kennedy for continuing his family’s longstanding tradition of supporting the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “His gift will help ensure that our students will learn from internationally recognized faculty in world-class facilities.”

The four Jim Kennedy Professorships will support faculty of the Grady College with an emphasis on new media as the college develops the next generation of communication professionals and engages in research and outreach that are helping the industry respond to a time of rapid change.

The Grady College also is home to the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research as well as the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Newspaper Strategy and Management, both named for Kennedy’s uncle.

“The generosity of the Cox family has left a lasting mark on the Grady College that benefits our students, faculty and the industry as a whole,” said Dean E. Culpepper Clark. “With this gift from Jim Kennedy, we are poised to expand our role in shaping the future of mass communication.”

One million dollars of the gift from Kennedy will help fund new facilities for the Terry College of Business. The proposed Business Learning Community, to be located in the northwest precinct of campus, will provide a 76 percent increase in classroom space and a 551 percent increase in space for student activities and services.

“The Business Learning Community will allow Terry College to offer students a state-of-the-art educational facility and foster the kind of collaborative environment necessary to thrive in today’s business world,” said Dean Robert T. Sumichrast. “We are grateful to Jim Kennedy for helping us optimize the learning environment for students and faculty.”

Kennedy is the grandson of former Ohio governor and presidential candidate James M. Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises in 1898. Kennedy has been with Cox since 1972, starting as a production assistant with Atlanta newspapers, where he held various positions including reporter, copy editor, advertising salesman, business manager and executive vice ­president/general manager.

He then moved to Grand Junction, Colo., where he served as publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for six years. He was named executive vice president of Cox Enterprises in 1986 and was named chairman and chief executive officer in 1988. Kennedy currently serves on the boards of Ducks Unlimited, the PATH Foundation and Wetlands America Trust, Inc., where he served as president for 15 years.