New mass comm dean helped stage new Songwriters Ha...

New mass comm dean helped stage new Songwriters Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — The incoming dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, Ken Paulson, played a key role in the development of the new Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame that was unveiled Sunday.

Paulson, vice chair of the songwriters’ hall, oversaw the content development for the 10-by-50-foot interactive display within the Music City Center, the new 2.1 million-square-foot conference and event facility in downtown Nashville.

Ken Paulson

“The members of the hall made Music City possible, and it’s time they were given their due,” said Paulson, a former president of the Newseum, the Washington, D.C., museum devoted to the history of news.

The display features three handicap-accessible computers with interactive touch screens. Visitors can call up digital exhibits of each of the 188 hall inductees, along with song clips, videos, lyric sheets and photos.

The wall also includes display cases for the hall’s memorabilia, including a pair of boots from legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash that are on loan from Paulson.

A nearby outside area, called Songwriters Square, features inlaid stones engraved with the names of the inductees, the year they were honored and their songs. Paulson said the hall plans to stage songwriter events in the square. Also, the stairs leading into the building are engraved with the song titles of the hall of fame’s members.

The Tennessean also featured Paulson and songwriter Pat Alger, chair of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, in a blog post and video to preview the new display.

Paulson, who is president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, will assume leadership of the MTSU College of Mass Communication on July 1. He replaces Roy Moore, dean of the college since 2008, who will remain with the college as a professor.

MTSU boasts the fifth largest mass communication college in the nation and is the only one that features departments of recording industry, journalism and electronic media communication. It also is home to the Center for Popular Music, which maintains a large research library and archive and interprets various aspects of American vernacular music; as well as the Center for Innovation in Media, which houses all student media outlets as well the student music label Match Records.

A member of The Recording Academy and a former music journalist, Paulson is also a member of the Music City Music Council and a Leadership Music board and executive committee member.

— Andrew Oppmann (