Society & Culture

History makers to converge in Athens for UGA’s Grady College Gala

History makers to converge in Athens for UGA's Grady College Gala

Athens, Ga. – Those who have covered history, helped write history or made history themselves will be gathering in Athens on Thursday, Nov. 20, for the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication Centennial Campaign Gala.

The 6 p.m. event at the Athens Classic Center will honor the inaugural class of The Grady Fellowship, individuals whose lives and careers have contributed immeasurably to the national reputation Grady College enjoys. It also will serve as the official kickoff of the college’s “Centennial Campaign for Grady: 1915-2015, Democracy’s Next Generation.”

National television personalities and Grady College alumnae Deborah Norville (ABJ ’79), host of CBS’ Inside Edition, and Deborah Roberts (ABJ ’82), ABC News correspondent, will serve as co-hosts for the evening and present the Fellows.

“The charter class of the Fellowship is a core of individuals who proudly proclaim the University of Georgia and Grady College as alma mater and a few who, although not UGA graduates, have become synonymous with the college’s success through longstanding service to its mission. It is upon their shoulders we will project the ‘Centennial Campaign for Grady’,” said Grady College Dean E. Culpepper Clark.

Among the history makers who will be inducted into the Fellowship are Charlayne Hunter-Gault, award-winning journalist and the first African-American woman admitted to the University of Georgia; Tom Johnson, former chairman of CNN News Group and former publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Times Herald; Maxine Clark, founder and CEO of Build-A-Bear, Inc.; Lessie Smithgall, a driving force behind establishment of the Peabody Awards at Grady and UGA; Gene Patterson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist; and Bill Anderson, singer, songwriter and country music legend. A complete listing of the Grady Fellows is available at

The gala event will bring together generations of Grady graduates, media professionals and friends for a celebration of the college’s history and a look toward its next 100 years. The goal for the “Centennial Campaign for Grady” is to fund additional faculty and support student needs, improve facilities and provide experience through the newly acquired WNEG television station.

For information, see or contact Karen Andrews at 706/542-6840 or

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see