The annual fall induction ceremony for the Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) Hall of Fame is being postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"In the interest of safety for everyone involved, we think this is the best decision," said Chris Dickerson, president of the SOJMC Alumni Advisory Board, which handles the Hall of Fame nomination process and annual ceremony. "We look forward to celebrating the careers and accomplishments of our five newest inductees as soon as possible, hopefully sometime in the spring."
Bill Bissett, Tony Crutchfield, Chris Fabry, Dan Hollis and Susan Nicholas were selected for enshrinement by the board earlier this year.
The first SOJMC Hall of Fame class was enshrined in 1985, and the latest honorees bring the number of inductees to 73.
"This year’s class of inductees is another perfect example that proves Marshall has one of the best journalism and mass communications programs in the country," Dickerson said. "We are extremely proud of all of our graduates, and it is an honor to welcome these five very deserving members to our Hall of Fame."
Bissett, a 1997 graduate of the SOJMC master’s program, is president and CEO of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also served as chief of staff and senior vice president for communications of Marshall University under the late President Stephen J. Kopp. He also was President of the Kentucky Coal Association. He is a Huntington native, a United States Army veteran and holds three degrees from Marshall (B.A. 1992 and Ed.D. 2014, in addition to the master’s degree).
Crutchfield, a 1982 SOJMC graduate, is senior vice president of army systems, defense, space and security with Boeing. He served in the U.S. Army with distinction, rising to the rank of Lieutenant General. He also is a member of the board of the Society of Yeager Scholars, and he is involved in other types of service to the university.
Fabry, a 1982 SOJMC graduate, is a best-selling author and an award-winning broadcaster. Primarily focusing his work on family and Christian issues, the Culloden native has written more than 80 books – including titles that have landed him on The New York Times best-seller lists – and has hosted national radio programs for more than 35 years.
Hollis has been a member of the SOJMC faculty since 1999. He has inspired countless former students to become journalists, and he continues to produce award-winning video projects as well. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana and has a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He has received numerous awards and honors during his two decades at Marshall, most recently the Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award.
Nicholas, a 1990 SOJMC graduate, currently is an anchor for WSAZ’s First Look at Four, but she has been a fixture in local broadcasting for more than 30 years. The Milton native also previously worked at WOWK-TV and has helped the SOJMC in a variety of ways over the years, such as hosting last year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Inductees need to have a connection to the SOJMC, such as being a graduate or a faculty member, and should meet at least one of two major criteria to be nominated:
- A graduate of Marshall’s JMC program who has contributed to Journalism and Mass Communications as a profession. The nominee has made a contribution to the profession of journalism or has made a positive impact upon the profession.
- Contribution(s) to Marshall University’s SOJMC. The nominee, either through talent, treasure or activity, has made an outstanding impact upon the school.
The school usually has an enshrinement dinner and ceremony each fall to honor the inductees, which usually attracts more than 200 guests.
For more information or questions about the SOJMC Hall of Fame, please contact the school at email@example.com.