The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication will host the 24th annual Gutenberg Celebration Thursday night in the Hunter Welcome Center honoring three outstanding alumni of the department.
“It starts with a networking reception and then we do the award presentation and follow up with a dessert reception,” said Dr. Cheryl Bacon, chair of the department.
The award presentation will honor three outstanding JMC alums in their field. Jennifer England Allen, a 1985 graduate, founded Asperger’s 101 based in San Antonio to provide families with support and resources. Luke Hejl, a 2001 graduate, works as the principal and general manager of Social Factor in Fort Worth. Alicia Phillips Pierce, a 2002 graduate, serves as the director of communications for the Texas Secretary of State’s office in Austin.
“The first year we did Gutenberg was 1993,” Bacon said. “Prior to that, back in the ’80s, we had a JMC alumnus of the year for several years and then we quit doing that. Then five years later, in 1993, we started Gutenberg.”
The department named this award after the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. Each honoree is given a miniature replica of the Gutenberg press handmade by Dr. Charlie Marler, professor emeritus.
The Gutenberg Celebration helps students build connections with alumni and allows students to gain experience in public relations and event-planning.
“Meeting alumni that have been through this department and shaking their hand at Gutenberg gives you an automatically reason to email them later for maybe an internship or job connection,” said Madelyn Bane, senior advertising and public relations major from Houston.
Bane serves as the lead account director for the Gutenberg Celebration and is responsible for organizing the event along with a team of students.
“I’m excited to honor these three alums that have done great things in areas of social media, government and Asperger’s awareness,” said Bane.
Gutenberg is free for JMC majors and minors due to generous donations from faculty and alumni.