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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Journalism school alumni, faculty and friends will observe 50 years of study and teaching at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville during two homecoming events this weekend.

 More than 2,000 persons have earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism since the School of Journalism was founded in 1947 by Willis C. Tucker, who now lives in retirement in Bella Vista, Ark.

 The first class of students graduated in 1949 from the College of Business with degrees in journalism.

 An anniversary party is scheduled for 7:30-10 p.m. Friday in the University Center, followed at noon Saturday by a College of Communications alumni reception and awards program in the Communications Building.

Three journalism alumni will receive the Donald G. Hileman Award for Distinguished Career Achievement during the program. They are:

— Gordon A. Glover, class of 1949, retired program officer of the Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Foundation, South Freeport, Maine.

 — Robert E. Selwyn, class of 1968, chief executive officer of Granite Broadcasting Co., New York City and Atlanta.

 — Mary Jean Wyatt, class of 1974, president of Wyatt Communications Inc., New York City.

 All journalism alumni and friends are invited to the events, sponsored by the Tennessee Press Association, the “Knoxville News-Sentinel” and Lockheed Martin Energy Systems. The sponsors have employed dozens of journalism interns since the program was established.

 The homecoming events will be attended by former journalism professors June Adamson, Dozier C. Cade, Kelly Leiter, Sammie Lynn Puett and Willis C. Tucker.

 Speakers at the anniversary party will include alumni Tom Adkinson, national media relations manager and news editor for Opryland USA; Paula F. Casey, author and president of VOTE 70 Inc., Memphis; Woody Paige, popular sports columnist for the “Denver Post” and Vince Staten, free-lance writer and media columnist for the “Louisville Courier-Journal.”

 Also at the anniversary party plans will be announced to raise money to endow the school’s Founders Fund, which was established in 1990. The fund is named for emeritus professors Tucker, Leiter, Puett, and the late John M. Lain. It supports student professional development activities in journalism and public relations.

 The School of Journalism has 13 full-time faculty, six part-time instructors, and 150 undergraduate majors and 35 master’s degree students. Its faculty teach and conduct research in a doctoral program that supports five graduate teaching associates.


 Contact: Dr. Jim Crook (423-974-5155)