Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication

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UGAGradyCollege Index.jpg
Parent institution
University of Georgia
DeanCharles N. Davis
Academic staff
Students1,697 (2017)[1]
Undergraduates1,493 (2017)[1]
Postgraduates204 (2017)[1]
UGAGradyCollege Logo.jpg

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is a constituent college of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, United States. Established in 1915, Grady College offers undergraduate degrees in journalism, advertising, public relations, and entertainment and media studies, along with master’s and doctoral programs of study. Grady has consistently been ranked among the top schools of journalism education and research in the U.S.[2][3][4] It is home to several prominent centers and institutes, including the Peabody Awards, recognized as one of the most prestigious awards in electronic journalism,[5] the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, New Media Institute and National Press Photographers Association.[6]


In 1915, Grady was founded as a school of journalism by Steadman Vincent Sanford, a young professor who later as president (1932-35) and chancellor (1935-45) of the University System of Georgia, was the architect of the modern University of Georgia. Classes were first held in the Academic Building near the university's iconic Arch just off Broad Street. Early courses included newspaper reporting and correspondence, editorial writing, history and principles of journalism, psychology of business procedure and newspaper advertising. In 1921, the school's name was changed to the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism in honor of university alumnus Henry W. Grady, an Athens native who served as part-owner and managing editor of the Atlanta Constitution in the 1880s.

A Grady reporting class in 1941.

Grady's first graduate, in 1921, Lamar Trotti, became a producer of major motion pictures for 20th Century Fox. He received an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay in 1945 for Wilson. The second graduate, in 1922, John Eldridge Drewry, became the school's longest serving director and dean (1932-69), and created a national reputation for the school. In 1940, Drewry established the George Foster Peabody Awards to address the fact that Columbia University, home of the Pulitzer Prize, did not accept radio broadcast entries. By 1929, enrollment at Grady, which had moved into the south wing of the Commerce-Journalism Building the previous year, was nearly 70 students and included 20 women who graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism. A master's degree program was authorized in 1938.

In 1961, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, along with Hamilton E. Holmes, became the first two African-American students to desegregate the University of Georgia. In 1963, Hunter-Gault graduated with a journalism degree from Grady and went on to a notable career in multimedia news reporting. The current Journalism Building located just north of Sanford Stadium was dedicated in 1969. A doctoral program was established in 1983. Two years later, the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research began operations and has since conducted hundreds of training programs involving countries across the world, and published numerous research and technical reports. The New Media Institute was founded in 2000 to explore the creative, critical and commercial implications of emerging digital communication technologies. In 2015, the National Press Photographers Association moved its headquarters to Grady.[7]


Grady comprises three academic departments: journalism, advertising and public relations, and entertainment and media studies. Admission to the undergraduate program is selective and open to students who have completed their sophomore year. The college provides instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels in a range of subject areas including public relations, advertising, broadcast and multimedia journalism, photojournalism, new media, communication, publication management, media innovation and entrepreneurship, and screenwriting.[8]

Since 1968, Grady students have helped produce UGAzine, a lifestyle magazine that is self-sustaining through advertising revenue. Many students also work on the award-winning, independent student newspaper, The Red and Black, and its lifestyle publication, Ampersand Magazine, as well as the student-operated WUOG, a radio station broadcasting to Athens and surrounding areas.

Journalism Building, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Research programs[edit]

Grady houses the following centers, institutes and affiliates for research and education:

  • George Foster Peabody Awards
  • Peabody Media Center
  • James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research
  • James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership
  • New Media Institute
  • Center for Health and Risk Communication
  • National Press Photographers Association
  • Georgia Scholastic Press Association

Peabody Awards[edit]

Katie Couric hosting the 63rd annual Peabody Awards luncheon in 2004 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

In 1938, leaders of the National Association of Broadcasters asked Lambdin Kay, WSB station manager in Atlanta, to create an award for excellence in broadcasting. He turned to Drewy, Grady's dean, for sponsorship. The result was the creation in 1940 of the George Foster Peabody Awards, named after a benefactor to the University of Georgia. The next year, the Peabody Awards were first presented to six distinguished radio winners at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. Grady has since administered the award to recognize outstanding achievements in radio, television and digital media.

More than a thousand submissions are judged annually by the Peabody Board of Jurors, made up of respected media professionals, media scholars, critics and journalists. The board meets at least three times, with the final viewing and discussion session held at the university. To win a Peabody in one of about 30 categories, ranging from news, entertainment and public service to documentary, children’s and web/interactive programming, a program must receive the unanimous approval of all board members. Past Peabody winners include Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, BBC, 60 Minutes and Al Jazeera.[9]


Grady is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

The following is a list of notable alumni in the fields of journalism, media and communication:[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Facts and Figures". Grady College. 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ "The Best Journalism Schools In The Country". HuffPost. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  3. ^ Gilbert, Tom (December 2014). "Survey: The Top 25 Journalism Schools; Grady Turns 100 With An Eye to the Future" (PDF). NewsPro. TV Week. 5 (3): 16–19. ISSN 2151-1764.
  4. ^ "Grady College ranked in top five of national Communication Ph.D. Programs by PhDs.org". 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  5. ^ Library, C. N. N. "Peabody Awards Fast Facts". CNN. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  6. ^ "About Grady". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Grady College Timeline". Online Athens. Athens Banner-Herald. April 11, 2015. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017.
  8. ^ "Degree Archive". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  9. ^ "The Peabody Awards". www.peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Accredited/Reaccredited – ACEJMC". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Notable Alumni". Retrieved 24 April 2019.


  • Clark, E. Culpepper. 2015. Centennial: A History of Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. Mercer University Press.

External links[edit]