Campus News

Professorship named in Hunter-Gault’s honor

Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s legacy at UGA just got bigger.

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication named Valerie Boyd the inaugural Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the DiGamma Kappa Award ceremony earlier this month.

Boyd, an assistant professor of journalism, smiled and hugged Hunter-Gault while formally accepting the position following Hunter-Gault’s speech.

“As a native of Georgia and an aspiring journalist, I always knew Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s name, as if it had been encrypted in my DNA from birth,” Boyd said. “I knew that I could someday walk onto the campus of UGA and be accepted because Charlayne Hunter-Gault had blazed the trail. And so today I am honored and humbled and grateful to be entrusted to carry her name.”

Said Hunter-Gault: “First of all, I want to say what an honor it is to have this position named for me, but also to once again say as a preacher’s kid that the Lord works in mysterious ways.”

 “I am knocked out by having a chair named for me, but I am beholden to have Valerie be the first Charlayne Hunter-Gault Writer-in-Residence.”

At the ceremony, Matt Winston, assistant to UGA President F. Michael Adams, read a proclamation from Adams noting UGA’s pride in Hunter-Gault’s accomplishments and the establishment of a position in literary journalism and creative nonfiction.

“By taking this action, we accomplish two objectives—we honor Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s pioneering career in ‘people-­centered’ journalism, a career that has spanned all media and the globe. Second, we recognize Professor Boyd’s highly acclaimed work in both journalism and nonfiction writing, most recently illustrated in the enthusiastic praise for her book, Wrapped in Rainbows, a powerful and moving biography of Zora Neal ­Hurston,” Winston read.