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Scripps College inducts alumnus into Ohio Communication Hall of Fame

May 9, 2008

Scripps College inducts alumnus into Ohio Communication Hall of Fame

ATHENS, Ohio (May 9, 2008) More than a hundred students, faculty, alumni and friends of the Scripps College of Communication gathered at the 2008 Scripps College of Communication Awards and Recognition Celebration May 8 at Ohio University’s Baker Center to honor Richard “Dick” H. Brown, BSC ’69, this year’s Ohio Communication Hall of Fame inductee and pay tribute to a successful year for the college.

“We help talented students tell stories and create wonder,” said Dean Gregory Shepherd in the evening’s opening remarks. “We teach them what it means to communicate.”

In his introduction of Brown, an alumnus of the School of Communication Studies, Shepherd said, “If I stood up here and read Dick’s entire professional résumé to you, I’d be accused of filibustering this celebration. Dick’s accomplishments as a corporate leader are extraordinary and, perhaps, unmatched.”

Brown was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Electronic Data Systems Corporation, C.E.O. and board of directors member of Cable & Wireless based in London and C.E.O. and board of directors member of H&R Block, among other things. He retired in 2003 and now serves on the board of directors of DuPont and on the advisory board of Mitsui and Company Venture Partners, Inc., in Tokyo. Brown has also served on the advisory boards of U.S. Presidents and as vice chairman of the Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees.

A video testimony presentation featuring the four living Ohio University presidents―Dr. McDavis, Dr. Vernon Alden, Dr. Robert Glidden and Dr. Charles Ping―detailed Brown’s service to the university, as well as to the fields of communication and business.

“I remember the dinner you hosted in Chicago when you were the chair of the Third Century Campaign,” Ping recalled. “You managed to sell tables to every corporation with whom you had any kind of relationship. … I remember your friend Bo Jackson, the professional football and baseball player, riding his motorcycle into the banquet. It was a wonderful evening.”

Brown credited his education, friendships, professors and involvement with organizations like Sigma Chi and Student Senate to his career success. Earlier in the day, Brown met with students in the college and shared with them his thesis.

“If you can communicate in life, you can do well in the world,” he said. At the evening celebration, he repeated his belief and further attributed his success to courage and determination.

“You couldn’t tell Dick Brown he would fail,” Brown said of those who doubted he could run Cable & Wireless, an international company, when his experience outside the country at that time consisted of a fishing trip to Ontario. “I’m extremely humbled and honored to receive this award.”

Other awards presented included the Scripps College Employee and Student Employee of the Year awards, the L.J. Hortin Faculty Mentor Award and the Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting.

WOUB Center for Public Media Director Carolyn Bailey Lewis presented Sue Damron, who has 27 years of service, with the Employee of the Year Award. “She is a most capable, effective and efficient administrator,” Lewis said of Damron’s commitment to WOUB.

Brooks Jarosz was named Student Employee of the Year by WOUB Director of Development and Communication Jeannie Jeffers. Jarosz was recognized for his strong work ethic and leadership skills in producing WOUB media and working with networks such as FOX News and ESPN. He has earned a competitive Carnegie fellowship to intern with ABC News in New York this summer.

Damron received $1000, and Jarosz earned $500.

Kathy Krendl presented Media Arts and Studies Professor Drew McDaniel with the L.J. Hortin Faculty Mentor Award. Tom Kuby, BSJ ’55, created the award in 2000 to honor current or former faculty members who exhibit commitment to students through mentoring. Along with the honor, McDaniel will receive $1500 for professional development.

“In the Scripps College of Communication, mentoring and advising are important parts of the ethos for us, and so many of my colleagues and faculty could be recognized for this award,” McDaniel said. “Thanks to all of you for sharing in this moment.”

The 2008 Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting winners, Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker of The New York Times, were recognized for their “alive, crisp and fresh” investigative series uncovering the use of toxins in consumer products from China and resulting fatalities. A video summarizing the series and the presentation of the award at the National Journalism Awards in Washington, D.C. in April, was shown.

The award is sponsored by 1956 Ohio University alumna Ursula and Dr. Gilbert Farfel and carries a prize of $25,000. In addition, Bogdanich and Hooker will serve as visiting professionals in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

A “year-in-review” Scripps College of Communication video was also shown. Featured highlights included a Hurricane Katrina documentary filmed by School of Media Arts and Studies students, the success of the Ohio University Forensics Speech and Debate Team and other student organizations, the implementation of the college’s FoodMASTER curriculum in area elementary schools and recognition of the college’s Fulbright scholars.