UofM Journalism and Strategic Media Chapter Honor

Outstanding Journalism Alumni

The 2023 Journalism and Strategic Media Outstanding Alumni Awards took place on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame. This event, hosted by the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media Alumni Chapter, honored six individuals who have made a measurable impact on advertising, journalism, public relations and strategic visual media in Memphis. 

There was also a tribute to the late food writer Jennifer Biggs.   

The 2023 honorees are as follows:

Charles E. Thorton Awards

Ron Maxley (BA ‘83) of the Daily Memphian &

David Tankersley (BA ‘76), longtime local journalist and filmmaker

Herbert Lee Williams Award

Gayle Rose, founder and CEO of EVS Corporation

Outstanding Alumni Awards

Beth Wilson (BA ‘04, Executive MBA ’ 14) of Wilson Public Relations &

Jeff Hulett (BA ’02) of Jeff Hulett PR

Friend of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media 

Eric Barnes, CEO of The Daily Memphian


These awards are named to honor the legacy of distinguished journalists from University of Memphis history. The Charles E. Thornton Award is named in honor of a Memphis journalist who was killed while on assignment in Afghanistan in 1985. The Herbert Lee Williams Award is named in honor of the UofM Journalism Department’s founding chair. 

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