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Howard Distinguished Professorship Established

Herb Howard

A a part of the Patrick Auditorium naming ceremony on Nov. 8, CCI celebrated the storied career of JEM Professor Emeritus Herb Howard on the establishment of the Herb Howard Distinguished Professorship in Media Management and Law. The Howard Distinguished Professorship was established through a $1 million gift from Larry Patrick (MS/Comm ’73) in honor of Dr. Howard. Patrick’s $5 million estate gift pledge will convert the professorship into a faculty chair at some point in the future.

A native of Johnson City, Tenn., Howard began his broadcasting career while in high school as an announcer for local radio station WJHL, where he later became the station’s program director. In 1953 he signed WJHL-TV on the air and was the television station’s first weatherman.

Howard then entered academia, earning his doctorate in mass communication at Ohio University before joining the UT faculty and teaching courses in broadcasting, journalism and communications research. He became noted for his academic work on television station ownership and management, and served as a research consultant for the National Association of Broadcasters. The Broadcast Education Association presented him with its Distinguished Educational Service Award in 2000, and he received a Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Service to the University from UT in 1998.

Howard also served as the college’s associate dean for graduate studies and research, and he twice served as acting dean of the college. He retired from UT in 1999 but continues to lend his distinctive voice to the airwaves as a volunteer announcer for WEPT-TV, Knoxville’s viewer-supported public television station.

“I am honored to be recognized for my efforts to create a legacy gift to the university,” Patrick said. “My desire to honor Herb Howard reflects his lifetime of service to the university, and serves as thanks from one of the many students who benefited by having Dr. Howard as a teacher. UT is a very special place to me, and I am fortunate to repay all that UT did for me with this gift.”

“We are very grateful to Larry Patrick for making this remarkable gift,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “His decision to establish this distinguished professorship will have a transformational impact on the college as we build on the legacy of excellence established by Herb Howard on our journey toward the Top 25.”