Robertson School inducts seven to Virginia Communications Hall of Fame

Illustration by Ellie Ki
Illustration by Ellie Ki

The Robertson School selected seven people to induct into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame at the end of March, according to University Public Affairs.

This year’s inductees are Joseph Cortina, Pamela K. El, Jane Gardner, Gene Herrick, Bernie Niemeier, Jesse Vaughan, and Dwayne Yancey.

Gene Herrick, one of the laureates in the 2018 Hall of Fame, made a lasting impression in communications with his work as a photojournalist for the Associated Press. In 1956, he took a photograph of Coretta Scott King kissing Martin Luther King Jr. on the cheek following a judge’s ruling regarding the Montgomery bus boycotts. He photographed Rosa Parks during her fingerprinting following her arrest for boycotting the bus system the same year.

George T. Crutchfield, director of VCU’s School of Mass Communications from 1978-89, launched The Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 1986 to recognize people who have had exceptional careers in journalism, advertising, public relations, and other media fields.

Montse Fuentes, dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, said the process for selecting Hall of Fame laureates is competitive. After a public nomination an advisory board reviews and chooses from the nominated candidates. Each inductee must either be from Virginia or have built their career in Virginia to qualify.

The individuals entering the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame have left their mark on the communication world, Fuentes said.

Fuentes said work by Herrick and the other laureates has contributed to the media world in an irreplaceable way.

“We are so glad Gene was there to capture these important moments in time,” Fuentes said. “Journalists’ and other communicators’ work is so important for our society to know the truth.”

Inductees will be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 29 at Altria Theater.

“We are so honored to recognize (these individuals) as our 2018 laureates of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame,” Fuentes said.


Saffeya Ahmed, Contributing Writer

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