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School of Mass Communication star alumni serve as role models for today's students

Loyola press release - July 19, 2013

This year’s class of star alumni inducted into the Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communication Den of Distinction is setting an example for today’s Loyola students with aspirations in journalism, communications and beyond. For Den of Distinction 2013 winners Peter Finney Sr. ‘49, Gary G. Hymel ‘54, Michael Smith ‘01 and Judy Reese Morse ‘84, Loyola helped launch successful careers. While at Loyola, for example, Smith (now an ESPN broadcaster) and Hymel both worked for The Maroon student newspaper.

The inductees have many successes to their names. Longtime local sportswriter Finney has been covering sports for The Times-Picayune for more than 60 years. Hymel, now retired, first worked as a newspaper reporter and later as press secretary for then-U.S. Rep. and Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr. from Massachusetts. In 1981, he joined the public affairs firm Hill and Knowlton as chief lobbyist and senior vice president, where he served until retirement. Morse, who worked for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., now serves as deputy mayor and chief of staff in New Orleans. Smith was a sports commentator and copy editor for The Times-Picayune and is currently the lead commentator for the ESPN2 program, “Numbers Never Lie.”

This year’s Den of Distinction inductees were featured in The Times-Picayune.

The honor recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves nationally by a lifetime of accomplishments or by extraordinary achievement. Nominees, through their accomplishments and achievements, are innovative leaders, set new standards of excellence and clearly serve as role models for Loyola’s students, alumni and our greater community, according to Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., Loyola professor and director of the School of Mass Communication.

Last May, the School of Mass Communication began its Den of Distinction tradition honoring its first four distinguished alumni, which includes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Marshall ’71, political strategist and philanthropist Shawn Donnelley ’91, nationally acclaimed public relations executive John Deveney ’88, and longtime WWL-TV news executive Maurice “Mo” Guillerman ’53.

For the past 75 years, the School of Mass Communication has trained and educated students with the right tools in public relations, journalism and advertising to allow them to make decisions with technical and organizational competence.