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Filmmaker David Appleby Will Address U of M Commencement
For release: Aug. 8, 2005
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David Appleby, award-winning filmmaker and professor of communication at the University of Memphis, will address some 700 graduates at the University's summer commencement Sunday, Aug. 14. Ceremonies will begin at 3 p.m. at FedEx Forum.

Appleby received the 2005 Board of Visitors Eminent Faculty Award, which recognizes exceptional and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative achievement, teaching, and service.

Appleby has been making documentary films for almost 30 years. He joined the U of M faculty in 1977 after completing his MFA degree in film and television at Temple University. Last year his film Hoxie: The First Stand won a string of honors: a Peabody Award (broadcasting's equivalent to the Pulitzer in print journalism), an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a Mid-South Regional Emmy for non-news writing, and a CINE Golden Eagle.

Hoxie examines a 1955 decision by the school board of small-town Hoxie, Arkansas, to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 school desegregation decision and integrate its schools voluntarily, despite strong opposition. Followed soon after by a similar, but larger situation in Little Rock, the events in Hoxie received little national attention.

Appleby has also earned awards and a national Emmy nomination for an earlier documentary, At the River I Stand, which details the 1968 strike by Memphis sanitation workers and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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