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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It was 30 years ago when the late Frank Ahlgren, then publisher of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, saw his dream of a University of Tennessee College of Communications come true.

Ahlgren, whose work as a UT trustee helped establish the college at UT-Knoxville in 1969, would be proud of how it has grown.

Today, 35 faculty teach about 1,400 communications students in fully accredited programs in advertising, broadcasting, journalism, and public relations. The college has produced more than 12,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Its programs have won regional and national recognition.

Those accomplishments will be part of a trip down memory lane Friday in a ceremony marking the college’s 30th birthday.

Communications Dean Dwight Teeter said three decades of communications education at UT have produced an impressive list of successful media company owners, acclaimed authors, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

“The excellence of our communications programs is reflected in the success of our graduates,” Teeter said. “We are very proud of what the college has accomplished and look forward to continued success in the future.”

Friday’s event will honor Dr. Richard Marius, Harvard University professor emeritus and winner of the college’s 1999 Donald G. Hileman Award for Distinguished Career Achievement.

Marius is a 1954 UT-Knoxville graduate and former UT history professor. His biographies of religious icons Thomas More and Martin Luther have been critically acclaimed.

Friday’s ceremony also will recognize the college’s board of visitors, a group of communications professionals who help with strategic planning and program development.

Persons interested in the college’s 30th anniversary and Homecoming activities may contact Janine Jennings at 423-974-3031 for more information.