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Kappa Tau Alpha celebrates 100 years

The Willis C. Tucker Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA) Chapter, UT’s honor society for students of mass communication, held its annual initiation ceremony and John Lain Lecture on April 13 in the Scripps Convergence Lab of the College of Communication and Information. KTA Advisor Barbara Moore initiated 16 students into the honor society, which is celebrating its 100th birthday.

Kappa Tau Alpha recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in mass communication. Membership is earned by excellence in academic work; selection for membership is a mark of highest distinction and honor.

This year’s KTA  cakeJohn Lain Lecture was given by Brent Hubbs, publisher of Hubbs is a 1996 broadcasting graduate from the College of Communication and Information. He is Tennessee’s first online journalist to be named the state’s top sportswriter. Hubbs’ website,, was launched in 2000 with a one-person staff, but now has a 4-person staff and generates annual revenues of $700,000.

The Lain lecture is named for Professor John Lain who joined the UT journalism faculty in 1949. After the Tennessee chapter was authorized, he represented the national president at the installation in June 1952. Lain served as KTA Advisor until 1973 when George Everett became the advisor.

The UT Kappa Tau Alpha Chapter was named for Professor Willis C. Tucker in 1972 during celebration of the 25th anniversary of the School of Journalism. Tucker established the School of Journalism as a department in 1947 and headed its expansion into the College of Communications in 1969. He retired in 1974 and died in 2001. In 1991, Tucker established an endowment to cover the national initiation fees for new Kappa Tau Alpha members believing that students being recognized for outstanding scholarship should not have to pay for that honor.

The seventh oldest national honor society, Kappa Tau Alpha was founded at the University of Missouri in 1910.