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The Columns: Alumni Reviews


Journalism Club honors media professionals

The University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club honored a magazine editor, a marketing executive and an associate athletic director at its annual alumni awards banquet in October.

Michael Finger and Lynne Rooker received the Charles E. Thornton Outstanding Alumni Award, and Bob Winn was recognized with the Herbert Lee Williams Award.


Michael Finger, right, accepts the Charles E. Thorton Award from
Richard Banks.

Michael Finger (BA ’76) is senior editor of The Memphis Flyer and Memphis magazine, and a longtime contributor to the Flyer. He has spent nearly 20 years at the two publications, and helped guide Contemporary Media’s sister publications. Finger has authored many articles in both publications, and has also penned numerous humorous articles, columns (“Ask Vance”) and opinion pieces under the nom de plume Vance Lauderdale.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the U of M, Finger earned a master’s degree in English from Louisiana State University. He has received more than a dozen journalism awards, including first place honors from the Memphis professional chapter and Atlanta chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He was presented the Milton Simon award for writer of the year from the Memphis Advertising Federation.



Bob Chandler, left, presents the Thornton Award to Lynn Rooker.

Lynn Rooker (BA ’89), co-owner of Chandler Ehrlich Advertising, was recently named president of the Memphis-based marketing and communications firm. She has been a partner in the firm since 2002, and was senior vice president and director of client services prior to the promotion.

During her tenure as senior vice president, Rooker received Chandler Ehrlich’s Combustion Award, given annually for outstanding contributions to the company, its associates and clients. In 2003 Rooker became a principle and partner at the company. She has helped grow the agency into a 30-person marketing firm serving such clients as Lane Home Furnishings, Phillips Electronics, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Stryker Physiotherapy Associates, Buckeye Technologies and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Rooker has also served as chairperson for the Memphis Advertising Federation’s Pyramid Awards, which honors outstanding professional service among Memphis’ advertising industry. She joined Chandler Ehrlich in 1989 as an account coordinator.


Bob Winn, right, receives the Herbert Lee Williams Award from
Chuck Roberts

Bob Winn (BA ’75) is the U of M’s associate athletic director for external affairs and the Athletic Department’s media relations representative. He has kept the University’s athletic programs in the forefront of Memphis’ public eye. Winn is also responsible for Athletic Department marketing and the Tiger spirit squads, as well as managing outside contracts and the partnership with Tiger Sports Properties. He has garnered coverage for Tiger sports over the years, including outstanding coverage of Tiger basketball, football, baseball, soccer and Lady Tiger basketball teams, as well as a host of other U of M sports.

In addition to his duties with the U of M, Winn has served as media coordinator for the PGA Tour stop in Memphis for 32 years and has assisted with the press box operation for the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

The Charles E. Thornton Award is named in honor of the former Memphis journalist who was killed while on assignment in Afghanistan in 1985. The Herbert L. Williams Award is named for the U of M Journalism Department’s founding chair. Williams died in 2004.

The banquet was held at The Racquet Club of Memphis.


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