More than 250 people gathered on a warm, sunny evening at McNamara Alumni Center for the SJMC's annual Spring Celebration.
by Jen Keavy
The event, held on May 6, 2009, brought together students, faculty, alumni, donors and their guests to honor the School's graduating class, 2009-10 scholarship recipients and the generous donors who make the scholarships possible. The SJMC Alumni Society Award for Excellence recipient, emeritus professor Donald Gillmor, also was recognized.
The SJMC awarded more than 100 undergraduate and graduate scholarships totaling nearly $500,000 for the 2009-10 academic year. Scholarship recipients were all smiles as they walked across the stage to receive their souvenir certificates.
SJMC director Al Tims recognized numerous students who received external honors during the 2008-09 academic year. This year's honors include: a Sevareid Award from the Northwest Broadcast News Association, four College Emmy nominations and one College Emmy Award. The Society of Professional Journalists recognized our students with 15 Mark of Excellence Awards, including two first-place awards for The Minnesota Daily in editorial writing and best all-around daily student newspaper. Nationally, students won honors from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards and the Associated Collegiate Press. Tims also praised the work of the SJMC's National Student Advertising Competition team, which took first place in the District 8 competition in April.
SJMC Alumni Society board member Mary Lahammer (B.A. '95) and emeritus professor Phillip J. Tichenor presented the 2008-09 SJMC Alumni Society Award for Excellence to Donald M. Gillmor (M.A. '50, Ph.D. '61). In his remarks, Tichenor said, "In all that has been said about Donald Gillmor, it would seem impossible to bring it all down to a single word. Yet there was one former student who came close. At a student-faculty social gathering several decades ago, Don agreed, to great applause, to lead the group in singing that famous Celtic song, 'Danny Boy.' It was such a bravado performance that SJMC alumna Ellen Wartella, standing next to me, exclaimed, 'What presence!' And presence is what Don Gillmor has brought to us--the presence of a great educator in the field of journalism."
The evening's program also included presentation of the Ralph D. Casey Dissertation Research Award and the Silha Fellowship for Media Ethics and Law as well as recognition of several SJMC student organization leaders and graduating seniors.