Campus News

School of Journalism and Media to Present Distinguished Alumni Awards

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2017) — The faculty of the University of Kentucky  School of Journalism and Media in the College of Communication and Information has voted to annually recognize graduates of the school who have had outstanding careers and made significant contributions to their communities and professions.

“I am not sure many people realize the impact our graduates have had on our state and our country,” Lars Willnat, School of Journalism and Media director, said. “This first group includes some amazing people — reporters, editors, producers, many of them award winners in their field.

“That’s quite a legacy from one school. And this is just the beginning. We have dozens more who deserve this award and dozens of recent graduates who are making their own marks.”

The first six recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award will be recognized Tuesday, April 18, at the school’s 40th annual Joe Creason Lecture. The lecture will be delivered by UK alumnus Terry Hunt, who retired last fall from the White House bureau of the Associated Press as deputy bureau chief. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the William T. Young Library.  The winner of the David Dick “What a Great Story Award” Storytelling Award will also be announced.

These six graduates of the School of Journalism and Media will be recognized:

Cathy A. Black (1985):  A graduate of the school’s telecommunications major, now known as the media arts and studies major, she is a senior producer at CBS News in broadcast marketing. Her responsibilities include the promotion and marketing of “CBS This Morning,” hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, to the network’s affiliated stations.

Previously, Black booked musical guests for the “Early Show” and “Saturday Early Show.” In that position, she produced concerts throughout the United States and overseas. She’s produced concerts and segments featuring performers including Prince, Garth Brooks, Sting, Adele, Rihanna, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Marc Anthony.

Black also has covered many headline events, including the Gulf War, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina and the Michael Jackson trial, as well as the 2012 and 2016 national political party conventions.  She joined CBS News in 1990, working on the assignment desk before becoming an assistant to “CBS This Morning” anchor Harry Smith.

A native of Lexington, she lives in New York City.  

Judith G. Clabes (1967):  This journalism graduate from Henderson, who also majored in English and education, has received numerous national, regional and state awards for her work in journalism, in community service and in philanthropy.  She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Indiana State University and has received four honorary doctorates, the most recent in 2010 from UK.

During her 37-year career with the E.W. Scripps Co., she broke the glass ceiling as the first woman to edit a Scripps newspaper, beginning with the Sunday Courier and Press in Evansville, a post she held for five years until she became editor of The Kentucky Post.

While editor of The Post, she founded the UK First Amendment Center, since renamed the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. In 1996, she was named chief executive officer and president of the Scripps Howard Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the E.W. Scripps Co. She retired in 2008.

In retirement, she and her husband, Gene, founded KyForward.com, an online news site serving Kentucky.  In late 2013, she and Gene founded the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism and started planning to launch a daily online newspaper  for Northern Kentucky. The NKyTribune was launched Jan. 12, 2015.  She also founded the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative to promote charitable giving.

Judith Clabes was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1997 and the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1989. She was the first recipient of the James Madison Award for Service to the First Amendment from the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. She also is a member of the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. In 2006, she was given the Gerald Sass Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications.

They live in Edgewood.

William R. Grant (1966):  This native of Winchester served as editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Kernel and was the first person to earn a master’s in mass communication at UK.  He lived a storied and successful career in print and broadcast journalism over more than four decades. He interned for The Courier-Journal, then after graduation covered politics for The Lexington Leader. The next stop was the Detroit Free Press, where he covered education.  He was a Nieman Fellow in 1979-80, a prestigious program that covers a year of study, innovation and experimentation at Harvard University. In 1980-83, he was an education writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. As a reporter, Grant’s writing won many national awards, including five from the National Council for the Advancement of Education Writing and two Charles Stewart Mott Education Writing Awards.

Grant entered broadcast journalism in 1983. He was a major contributor to public television programming and served in numerous positions of increasing responsibility. He worked for two years as managing editor of “Frontline,” the investigative program of the Public Broadcasting System, and 10 years as executive editor of “Nova,” the long-running science program. He joined WNET in 1997, where he led the largest documentary production unit in U.S. public television, supervising development, funding and production of more than 50 hours of programming a year in the areas of natural history, science, history, and travel and adventure. He served as the executive producer for a number of highly acclaimed programs, including the mini-series “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” and “The American President,” a 10-hour series.

Programs produced under his supervision won 13 national news and documentary Emmy awards and eight George Foster Peabody awards. Grant co-founded the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in 1991, was named chairman in 2002 and continued to serve as chairman emeritus of the festival board until his death in 2016.

He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2001. He was named to the University of Kentucky’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2005. His wife, Ellen, and his brother, William, will represent him. 

David V.  Hawpe (1965):  His journalism career began with the Associated Press the year he graduated. He served as editorial writer for the St. Petersburg Times before joining The Courier-Journal in the Hazard bureau in 1969. Along the way he served as editorial writer, copy editor, assistant state editor and managing editor before being named editor of the state’s largest-circulation newspaper. In 2009, he retired, concluding a 44-year career. During his tenure in leadership positions, The Courier-Journal won four Pulitzer Prizes.

Hawpe was a Nieman Fellow in 1974-75 at Harvard and taught there, as well as at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. He was president in 1990 of the Kentucky Press Association. He also was active in the Associated Press Managing Editors, American Society of Newspaper Editors and was a frequent lecturer at the American Press Institute and the Poynter Institute. He was a Pulitzer Prize juror four times.

In 2009 he received the James Madison Award for Service to the First Amendment from the university’s Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and the Distinguished Service Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME). He served as APME president and led the rewrite of its ethics policy, adding a mandate for diverse staffing and coverage by newspapers. His awards also included the 1999 Walker Stone Prize for Editorial Writing and that year's Anthony Lewis Media Award for Public Advocacy from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.

Since retirement Hawpe has served as a University of Kentucky trustee and a Morehead State University regent. He has worked in political campaigns, and beginning with the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly session he has been senior aide to Sen. Morgan McGarvey.

Hawpe lives in Louisville.

Terence P. Hunt (1967):  This former managing editor and executive editor of the Kentucky Kernel retired a year ago after 46 years with the Associated Press, 25 of them as its chief White House correspondent.

He logged hundreds of thousands of miles covering Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He was in West Berlin when Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Hunt left the White House during the presidency of George W. Bush to lead AP’s coverage of the historic economic meltdown and Great Recession. Three years later, he was named deputy chief of the Washington bureau, the news agency’s largest bureau.

He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1993 and UK’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2015. He also has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists’ DC Pro Chapter. He is a former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He won both the Merriman Smith Award for presidential reporting under deadline pressure and the AP’s Gramling Award for reporting excellence.

He lives in Kensington, Maryland, with his wife, Jeanie Johnson. 

Richard G. Wilson (1966):  This graduate retired from The Courier-Journal with a reputation as one of the most respected journalists in the Commonwealth and was recognized nationally for his reporting on education.

A Kernel editor and then its advisor after graduation, he reported for the Lexington Leader and The State Journal in Frankfort. He joined The Courier-Journal in 1967, and two years later moved to the newspaper’s Frankfort bureau. There he covered state government, education, politics and political campaigns for 16 years.

In 1984, with Richard Whitt, Wilson won the Kentucky School Boards Association’s award for exemplary investigative reporting and the Kentucky Education Association’s School Bell Award for a series of stories, “What’s Wrong with Kentucky Schools.” In 1985, Wilson became chief of the Bluegrass Bureau in Lexington, continuing to cover higher education and regional issues throughout Central Kentucky. He remained in that position until he retired in 1999, ending a reporting career of almost 50 years, all in Kentucky.

He served as interim director of the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications, as it was then known, from July 1, 2002, until June 30, 2003. During that period, he led the school successfully through reaccreditation and instituted the Journalism Alumni Symposium, an annual event that brings the school’s graduates to campus to meet with students. He is a 1999 inductee of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, has served as an adjunct journalism instructor and has mentored numerous young journalists.

He and his wife Deborah live in Frankfort. 

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