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Archive for the ‘Alumni News’ Category

Former Mississippian editor dies at 88

Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by elwalke1

Paul Newton deceasedOle Miss alumnus Paul Newton of Gulfport, Miss., passed away on February 10, 2014.  Newton, 88, was editor of The Mississippian, now The Daily Mississippian, in the 1940s.  Read his obituary at

Alumni Profile: Jesse Holland

Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by elwalke1

By Annie Rhoades

Jesse HollandFrom journalism student, beat reporter and editor for The Daily Mississippian to writer for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C., alumnus Jesse Holland (BA 94), has led an accomplished career.

Born in Holly Springs, Holland, Associated Press race and ethnicity writer, had his sights set on Ole Miss long before he graduated from Mount Pleasant’s H.W. Byers High School in 1989. Read more at

Maggie Day heads for Bahrain startup

Posted on: February 4th, 2013 by elwalke1

Maggie Day

Recent graduate Maggie Day has completed preparatory work in London and will soon be in Bahrain for the startup of a Bloomberg Television project that will result in an Arabic language business news network.  

Day, from Fayetteville, Ark., received her bachelor’s degree in May. She was a member of the Sally McConnell Barksdale Honors College and served in many student leadership roles, including a year as a cheerleader. She was also elected as Ole Miss homecoming queen her senior year. In addition, she was a reporter, anchor and news manager of NewWatch, the campus TV news program.

Day’s initial assignment with Bloomberg, which is based in New York, was in London to familiarize her with international broadcast bureau operations.

Ole Miss journalism grad elected MPA president

Posted on: July 12th, 2012 by elwalke1

James E. “Jim” Prince

A veteran newspaper journalist has been elected President of the Mississippi Press Association and Mississippi Press Services, Inc., during the Association’s annual convention July 6 in Miramar Beach, FL.

James E. “Jim” Prince, III will serve a one-year term as president of the state newspaper association and its subsidiary advertising services division. Prince was first elected to the MPA-MPS Board of Directors in 2004.

He is president of Prince Newspaper Holdings Inc., which publishes The Neshoba Democrat in Philadelphia, the Madison County Journal in suburban Jackson and the Kemper County Messenger in DeKalb.

The company also publishes Madison Magazine and Neshoba Magazine.

A Philadelphia native and 5th generation Mississippian, Prince began his newspaper career while in high school, working summers at The Neshoba Democrat until he graduated from college. He was two-term editor of The Reflector at Mississippi State University.

He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.

Prince succeeds Vicksburg Post general manager Jimmy Clark who becomes chairman of the MPA Education Foundation.

In remarks after accepting the President’s gavel, Prince called on editors and publishers in attendance to stay true to the mission of community newspapers and continue to provide what no other media can.

“Look back to the founding of your newspapers and the principles on which they were established,” he said. “Assess the present and, if necessary, renew those principles and build on them. Innovate, adapt and embrace the digital future, but do not forsake print as your core product and brand any time soon.

“Hold elected officials accountable,” he said. “Report the truth fairly and accurately. Have a voice.”

He encouraged farm team development by hiring young interns who could make a career choice, said the association must promote sales expertise and marketing and that members must work to continue building relationships with each other.

“Good newspapers will prevail, particularly in communities where citizens value liberty highly and possess that sense of place Miss Eudora (Welty) and Willie (Morris) wrote about,” he said.

Also elected to leadership positions at the 2012 convention were Daily Corinthian publisher Reece Terry, who will serve as Vice-President for Dailies; Calhoun County Journal publisher Joel McNeece, elected Vice-President for Weeklies; and Bolivar Commercial publisher Mark Williams, who was elected treasurer. Clark will continue serving on the board as immediate past president.

Elected to three-year terms as Directors were John P. “Pat” Brown, editor and publisher of The Magee Courier; Kevin Cooper, publisher of The Natchez Democrat; H. Ray Mosby, editor and publisher of The Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork; and Jack Ryan, editor and publisher of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb.

Established in 1866, MPA is the trade association for 125 member publications. Mississippi Press Services, founded in 1978, is a business subsidiary to MPA that provides advertising representation for member papers.

Criss, former student, to sign new book

Posted on: February 11th, 2012 by elwalke1

Leslie Criss, a former Ole Miss journalism graduate student, has penned an award-winning column for a trio of Mississippi newspapers over the course of nearly two decades – The Carthaginian, The Vicksburg Post, and for the past 12 years, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, where she is the features and special sections editor. 
In her columns, Criss holds forth on a steady stream of subjects from pets to pretzels and everything in between. 

The title of her book is “Still and Yet: A Collection of Columns.” The foreword was penned by Rheta Grimsley Johnson.  Criss will have a signing at at Square Books at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.

See what Meek School graduates have accomplished!

Posted on: November 5th, 2010 by elwalke1 No Comments

Bryan Doyle, a 2008 graduate and the 2006-2007 editor of the Daily Mississippian, just accepted a job with (the online political newspaper/website started by former Washington Post political reporters) as a web producer in Washington, D.C. Prior to this job he just completed a year-long fellowship with the Pew Center for the States.

Paul Quinn recently accepted a job with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as the night cops reporter in Little Rock after his internship on the business desk at the same paper.

Meek School Welcomes Board of Directors- Charles Overby

Posted on: November 4th, 2010 by elwalke1 No Comments

Protecting the First Amendment: Charles Overby Oversees the Freedom Forum

By Macey Baird and Robin Street

For Charles Overby, journalism has been a lifelong calling.

Overby began his self-proclaimed “love affair” with newspapers at age 11 while delivering The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger each day at 5 a.m.  Then came his high school journalism class.

“On the second day of class I remember turning to my friend and saying, ‘If they pay you to do this, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,’” Overby says.

Today, Overby is chairman and chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum foundation and CEO of the Newseum, a major museum in Washington, D.C. that informs and entertains 700,000 visitors annually about history, news and freedom.

At Ole Miss, the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics is named in his honor and funded through a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum. The center brings his career full circle back to Ole Miss, where he finished in 1968, six credit hours short of a degree.

Overby credits his days at Ole Miss with preparing him for his career. He was editor of The Daily Mississippian and paid for his education by working for the sports information office of the Athletic Department and as Ole Miss correspondent for several news operations.

“I love Ole Miss in the sense that I have a lifelong passion for appreciating for what it has done for me and what it continues to do for so many people,” he says.

After leaving the university, Overby moved to D.C. to work for Sen. John Stennis from Mississippi before becoming the Washington correspondent for the Nashville Banner. Overby met Al Neuharth, owner of Gannett and founder of USA Today, when Gannett purchased the Banner.

“For whatever reason he gave me many opportunities both at the Gannett Company and the foundation,” Overby says of Neuharth..

He went on to spend 16 years working for Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper company, as a reporter, editor and corporate executive.

In 1982, Gannett appointed Overby as executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger where he led the newspaper’s news and editorial coverage of the need for education reform in Mississippi.  The result was a Pulitzer Prize in 1983.

In 1989, he became president and chief executive officer of the Gannett Foundation, later renamed the Freedom Forum. The Freedom Forum promotes First Amendment and media issues, and funds the Newseum, an interactive museum devoted to educating people about the First Amendment. It also funds the Diversity Institute, which works to keep a diverse workforce in newsrooms.

Today, Overby divides his time between Washingon (the Newseum), Nashville (the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University) and Oxford (the Overby Center).  He also travels around the country to speak about the future of newspapers and a free press.

“The future of newspapers is good.  It’s going to have a strong future in a multimedia sort of way,” Overby says. “I think we will see print for a long, long time, but we will also see news delivered on many new platforms.”

He believes the Meek School of Journalism and New Media will be a vital part of preparing students for that future.

“Journalism is one of the recognized areas of excellence at Ole Miss,” he says. “It teaches you and prepares you for a lifetime of many different opportunities. The Meek School has the right resources and the right leadership.  Now it ranks among the top journalism schools in the country.”

Overby suggests that journalism students gain a broad knowledge base early in their career.

“Pursue what you love and then the rest will fall into place,” Overby says. “It is the greatest blessing to my life and my family to find something I love doing and get paid for something as exciting as journalism.”

Meek School Welcomes Board of Directors- Otis Sanford

Posted on: October 28th, 2010 by elwalke1 No Comments

 Otis Sanford: The Day’s not Complete for this Commercial Appeal Editorial Editor till Someone’s Angry with Him

              By Toni Lepeska                                                              

       Otis Sanford spends part of his days hearing from angry people.

       Despite the angry folks, though, he loves his job as editor of opinions and editorials at The (Memphis, Tenn.) Commercial Appeal.

       Almost daily, he gets an ear full from people who don’t agree with what he said in his column or with what someone else wrote in the editorial pages. Sanford takes it all in stride.

       “You can’t have a thin skin,” said Sanford, a member of the University of Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame.

       Sanford, 57, said new reporters should not even consider writing opinion columns until they have done plenty of well-written, accurate reporting.

       A 35-year newspaper veteran, Sanford began his love affair with newspapers as a child on the family farm in Como, Miss. Since his father was busy on the farm, Sanford would read the newspaper and report the contents to his father.

       “He loved news, and I loved news,” Sanford said.


Meek School Welcomes Board of Directors- Evangeline Robinson

Posted on: October 16th, 2010 by elwalke1 No Comments

Evangeline W. Robinson

By Stuart Johnson

Evangeline W. Robinson is using the journalism skills she gained in graduate school at Ole Miss to help another Mississippi university, Jackson State.

Robinson, who grew up in the small Mississippi Delta town of Rolling Fork, graduated from Jackson State in 1991 where she majored in mass communications with a concentration in news editorial. While at JSU, she was involved in the student publication “The Blue and White Flash,” serving as editor-in-chief her senior year.

Eager to learn more, Robinson enrolled in the journalism graduate program at Ole Miss where she studied magazine service journalism with Dr. Samir Husni.

“He [Husni] inspired me through the program,” Robinson says. “I learned so much about magazines I never knew.”

While in graduate school, Robinson spent one summer interning in New York City at a trade publication and another with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss.


Journalism Alumni Information Request

Posted on: October 13th, 2010 by elwalke1 No Comments

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media is proud of the accomplishments of our graduates.  Your success is an inspiration for our students and a confirmation of our efforts to produce exceptional journalism graduates.

We want to keep up with our alumni as they develop professionally.

With that in mind, please take a few minutes to complete the form below.

Email your completed forms here.

Journalism Alumni Info form

Journalism Alumni Information Contact information: Name:____________________________________________ Current home address: __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Telephone: __________________ E-mail:______________________ Graduation month, year: _______________ Career information: Company or business where employed: _________________________________________ Your Title: ___________________________________ Company address: ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ Telephone: ___________________________________________ E-Mail: _____________________________________________ How long have you been there? ___________________________ What were you doing before you were hired? _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________