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UGA’s Grady College to honor Springfield native

POSTED: August 22, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Newspaper publisher Robert M. Williams Jr. is one of 58 alumni and communication professionals from across the country named to the charter class of The Grady Fellowship at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in Athens.

Williams is a native of Springfield and the son of Mrs. Belle Williams of Blackshear, formerly of Springfield and the late R. Mack Williams Sr. He is an occasional columnist for the Effingham Herald.

The Grady Fellowship recognizes and honors those whose lives and careers have contributed measurably to the national reputation the college enjoys, said Dean of the Grady College E. Culpepper Clark. The new recognition was created by the Grady Board of Trust, the colleges advisory board.

The inaugural class for the Fellowship was chosen from more than 20,000 alumni of the college.

Named to the charter class of the fellowship is a core group of individuals who proudly proclaim the University of Georgia and Grady College as alma mater and a few who, although not UGA graduates, have become synonymous with the colleges success through longstanding service to its mission, Clark said.

Williams will share the honor with the likes of NPRs Charlayne Hunter-Gault, country singer-songwriter Bill Anderson, Morris Communications William S. Morris III and former CNN president Tom Johnson. He is one of three weekly newspaper publishers in the group. Williams is publisher of the SouthFire Newspapers Group that includes ownership in The Blackshear Times, the Charlton County Herald in Folkston, The Alma Times, The Telfair Enterprise in McRae, the Monroe County Reporter in Forsyth and two shopper publications.

The Fellowship celebrates relationships, the friendships that sustain careers and a shared commitment to journalism and mass communication education and to its professions, said Clark.

The inaugural class of the Grady Fellowship will be formally presented Nov. 20 at a black-tie reception and dinner at the Athens Classic Center as part of the college’s Centennial Gala event.


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