Athens, Ga. – Six alumni of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will be recognized for their influence, achievements and service to the media professions when they are inducted into the Grady Fellowship in a tribute ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Athens Classic Center.
Inductees composing the 2009 Fellows class include Claude Felton, Athens; Brenda Hampton, Los Angeles; Ray Jenkins, Baltimore; Edwin Pope, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Gordon Smith, New York; and Ruth Trager, Atlanta.
Felton (ABJ ’70, MA ’71) has held positions in the University of Georgia Athletic Association since 1979 including associate athletic director and sports communications director, a position he has held since July 2004. During his career, he has served as media coordinator for 17 NCAA national championship events and was the host sports information director for the 1977 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Atlanta. He served on the press liaison staff for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and was the press venue chief for the soccer venue at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
Hampton (ABJ ’73) is the creator and producer of the current ABC family life hit, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and the hit series, 7th Heaven, the longest running family drama in TV history. One of the few women working in TV drama, Hampton has enjoyed sustained success since moving to Los Angeles in the early 1980’s with writer, editor and producer credits in such shows as Sister Kate, Baghdad Café, Lenny, Blossom, Daddy’s Girls, Fat Actress, and Mad About You. Hampton was the 2003 recipient of the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumnus Award.
Jenkins (ABJ ’51) began his career in journalism in 1951 as a reporter for The Columbus Ledger. In 1954, he was one of two reporters who covered the Phenix City, Ala., upheaval which won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for The Columbus Ledger. Between 1959 and 1979, he served as city editor, managing editor, executive editor and vice-president of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser-Journal. He also served as former editor of The Baltimore Sun.
Pope (ABJ ’48) has been a sports columnist at The Miami Herald for more than 45 years and is one of sports journalism’s most honored writers. He was the ninth winner of the Red Smith Award, is a member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and has received a record four Eclipse Awards for the nation’s best columns. He is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and in 1996 received a Knight-Ridder Excellence Award. He is one of only a handful of writers to have covered every Super Bowl.
Smith (ABJ ’75, JD ‘78) is executive director and chief operating officer of the United States Tennis Association. In this position, Smith leads USTA’s effort to promote and develop the growth of tennis, and oversees USTA operations and the functioning of its national office. He has long been connected to tennis as both a player and a volunteer, playing competitively at UGA and captaining a team that swept four straight Southeastern Conference titles from 1971 through 1975. Following law school, he clerked with the federal judiciary before joining the Atlanta-based international law firm of King and Spalding, where he was a senior partner in the 800-lawyer firm. Smith is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been listed in the publication The Best Lawyers in America for many years.
Trager (ABJ ’47) was a pioneering female executive in the field of broadcast advertising. At WAGA-TV, Atlanta’s second-oldest station, she shaped the parameters of media buying as Atlanta grew to claim its status as a major media market. Trager has held media posts at prominent Atlanta advertising agencies throughout her career and mentored young women entering advertising through media buying, planning and sales.
“The Grady Fellowship was created in 2008 to recognize individuals whose lives and careers lend measurably to the reputation Grady College enjoys,” said Grady College Dean E. Culpepper Clark , who made the announcement on behalf of the Grady Board of Trust, the advisory board of the college, which confers the Grady Fellowship honor.. “Claude, Brenda, Ray, Edwin, Gordon and Ruth inspire students and alumni. We are pleased and honored to receive them into this year’s class and to welcome all members of the Grady Fellowship home.”
The tribute evening will get underway with a 6 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 7. Inductions will take place at 7:45 p.m. by Clark and Swann Seiler (ABJ ’78), first female president of Grady’s Board of Trust. At 8 p.m., Grady’s sports journalism legacy will be spotlighted with a panel discussion by distinguished sports journalists, most of whom are Grady alumni.
Tickets to the tribute evening are available for $75. Purchase tickets and RSVP by Friday, Nov. 6 at www.grady.uga.edu/tribute.
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors: 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 www.grady.uga.edu or follow Grady on Twitter at twitter.com/ugagrady.