Campus News

Alumnus establishes chair in crisis communications leadership

Dick Yarbrough

The C. Richard Yarbrough chair in Crisis Communications Leadership has been created in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The chair will begin as the C. Richard Yarbrough Professorship in Crisis Communications Leadership, funded by a cash pledge that will be completed later this year. When combined with his estate plan, the gift total will reach or exceed $2 million.

Spotlighting the importance of educating students for leadership in crisis communications and serving as counselors to key executives and clients in crisis, the Yarbrough Professorship and eventual chair will be the first of its kind within a school of journalism and mass communication.

E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College, praised Yarbrough for a lifetime of generosity and for his major gift commitment that will make the college what Yarbrough calls the “go-to” leader in crisis communications research and education.

“This is a historic moment for Grady as we look to establish a program of true distinction in the public relations profession,” Clark said. “Dick and Jane Yarbrough have been steadfast partners and friends of our students. Their generosity now multiplies for Grady generations to come.”

Yarbrough said his vision is that the Yarbrough Professorship and eventual chair will establish the Grady College as a beacon for thought leadership, expert analysis and commentary on crisis communications through teaching, research and outreach to the communications profession.

“My vision, born out of an enduring, deep love for Grady and a career in high stakes communications, aims to position the college as the premier site for analysis, counsel and leadership talent in crisis communications,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough has been a longtime benefactor to the college, establishing in 2002 an innovative Yarbrough Student Support Fund, which has provided stipends to Grady students. The Yarbrough Student Support Fund recently was expanded to create the Yarbrough Scholar-Interns learning lab, comprised of a team of students who gain practical working experience while advancing the college’s marketing efforts.