MTSU’S College of Media and Entertainment honored three alumni with decades of experience and acclaim in their fields April 22 by adding their names to the college’s growing Wall of Fame.
Journalist and public relations executive Jill Clendening, photojournalist Larry McCormack and country music management executive Daniel Miller joined the 79 media leaders already included on the list, which has covered the northeast hallway of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building on campus and was expanded earlier this year to include a new digital sign.
The Wall of Fame induction is part of the college’s annual awards ceremony, which this year recognized more than 100 students in the School of Journalism, Department of Recording Industry and Department of Electronic Media Communication with scholarships and other honors.
Clendening, a 1990 cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications, is currently a public information officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has been with VUMC since 2008 and previously worked with the center’s nursing research department and the Department of Anesthesiology – one of the largest medical departments on campus – as the group’s communications/marketing coordinator.
She also worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation as a publications editor and as a senior editor for Journal Communications, a custom magazine publisher. Her tenure in traditional journalism included working at the City Paper as an assistant editor and The Tennessean as a staff writer. While at MTSU, she worked in many student media roles, including editor of Sidelines.
McCormack, a 1980 MTSU mass communications graduate, has been a photojournalist at The Tennessean since 1998. He worked for The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro after graduation until July 1981, then moved to The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville until 1983. He then accepted a position with the Nashville Banner, where he stayed until it closed in 1998.
During his 30-plus years in photojournalism, McCormack has covered the everyday lives and comings and goings of his friends, neighbors, students, church members, country music stars, politicians and other movers and shakers across the Midstate. His role has expanded to include social media, audio podcasting, video, virtual reality and other multimedia platforms, and he is the recipient of numerous national, regional and state awards for his work, including a team Pulitzer Prize nomination for coverage of the 2010 Nashville flood.
Miller, a 2000 MTSU recording industry alumnus, got his industry start as a volunteer for Country Music Association Awards events, using a connection made there to work for two independent publicity firms and intern at the Dixie Chicks’ then-management firm. He began working for the firm full-time after graduating from MTSU, overseeing box-office operations for the Chicks’ first headline tour.
A few months later, he joined Borman Entertainment to serve as a management assistant, working with Faith Hill, Lonestar and Keith Urban and eventually moving up the roster to become vice president for artist management. He began working with Lady Antebellum while at Borman and, after nearly seven years, had started his own company, Fusion Music. The company now works in partnership with Red Light Management for Lady Antebellum as well as other artists.
The Wall of Fame honor began in 2000 as a way to honor successful mass-communication graduates and inspire current students to continue working toward their goals. Each of the college’s three departments submits an honoree for consideration each year, and the Wall of Fame ceremony then becomes a part of the college’s annual awards day for students.
During the afternoon event inside MTSU’s Student Union, the college also offered special recognition to retiring professor and former dean Ed Kimbrell, who established the original Department of Mass Communication in 1971.
One of the largest communication programs in the nation, the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas — ranging from journalism to digital media and media management to recording industry management — and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
For more information about MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)