The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication honored three distinguished ACU alumni Thursday at the 27th annual Gutenberg Celebration.
The three honorees included: John Scaggs, CEO of Way Media in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Michael Hagerty, senior producer of Houston Matters in Houston, and April Farris, appellate partner at Yetter Coleman in Houston.
Hagerty graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2001. Since 2013, he has been working at Houston Matters where he is the senior producer.
“I always kind of wanted to receive a Gutenberg because of the cool trophy.” Hagerty said via email. “But other than that, it’s kind of surreal. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s already been 20 years since my first on-air shift at KACU, especially since there were times as a student where I wondered if I was really cut out for some aspects of journalism.”
Hagerty was the “Voice of Sing Song” for the 2000 and 2001 productions. He was also an announcer for KACU.
Scaggs, a 1990 ACU graduate, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. His company, Way Media, owns more than 20 contemporary Christian stations and operates the WAY-FM radio network.
“I could get an award from a group I don’t know and it could mean a lot,” Scaggs said, “but I think it means so much more when it is your adviser and the university that you came from. It is just really gratifying when people who know you both the best and the worst give you an award for your excellence.”
Farris, a 2006 graduate, has a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing and communications.
JMC’s advertising and public relations agency, Morris+Mitchell, ran the event. Account director Aleira Martin, senior advertising and public relations major from Fort Worth, said there was a small team this year comprised of two other students and it was “nerve-wracking” at times, but the outcome made it all worth it.
“There’s three people on my team, including me, so we have had our hands tied in everything for the event.” Martin said. “It got harder as the event got closer.”
Martin said it was such a blessing to be apart of the annual Gutenberg celebration despite having a small team.
“This event was huge for me,” Martin said. “I love event planning but have never been given the opportunity to plan this large of an event so I was so excited to see how it all turned out. This involvement is a blessing. I don’t think many people in my field can get an experience like Morris+Mitchell and I’m glad I am a part of leadership here.”