To celebrate the College of Communication and Information’s 50th anniversary, we asked our alumni about their proudest accomplishments. Before beginning professional careers, they learned to deliver speeches, meet deadlines, and tell stories about the Knoxville campus and beyond.
Sandra Frost Dickerson
I graduated in the Spring of 1969, just before CCI opened. My classes were in the lower level of the Glocker Business Building, and the Daily Beacon office was in an old house not far from Krystal and ‘the Strip.’ My best memories while earning my degree in journalism were associated with working on the Daily Beacon staff as a reporter and then being the Feature Editor during my senior year (1968- 1969). I am sad to say that I have not been able to look at or smell another Krystal burger since that time–let alone eat one … That was my quick go-to diet while working on the paper!”
“CCI gave me a love for learning that I had previously never known. More than one professor took the time to encourage and guide me outside of class time. To this day, I call on principles learned in classes such as interpersonal communication, argument & debate, and public speech. These principles have been invaluable in my day to day relationships & have been passed on to my children and countless others.”
“I had many friends that were communications majors, and I enjoyed being able to take classes with lots of folks that I know. I also loved that CCI was a smaller college, so when it came to advising and other services, it felt a lot more intimate.”
“My proudest moment was being cast in the role of Billie Jean Lilac Lavender Martha in the play “Hot l Baltimore.” Love you Dr. (Thomas) Cooke for trusting me with that role and encouraging me every step of the way. I still have the note he wrote me on opening night. His encouragement made all the difference in my life!”
“I held three different internships during my four years of college THAT enabled me to begin working 20 hours weekly at the Knoxville News Sentinel my entire senior year. I call that the year of NO SLEEP.
“But 1980 was a recession with few JOBS in our field, so luckily I already had worked my way into a Sentinel reporter’s job. The night before UT graduation I stayed up all night interviewing, then writing a local angle of a national tragedy (US military helicopter crash of the crew trying to liberate US POWs; a local airman was the doomed flight’s navigator). My interview with the deceased navigator’s local parents made the ‘front page above the fold story’ of the Sentinel the day before, or the day of, my graduation day.
“I remember walking across campus in my graduation gown with a stack of the Sentinels in my hand and feeling oh-so-lucky to have gone to a college that put into place internship mechanisms to launch my career BEFORE I graduated. AND I am still writing and winning awards … last spring I won two first place Golden PressCard SPJ awards for conceptualizing and scripting video (in two different categories).”
Brooke Fraser Drummond
“My proudest moments were working at The Volunteer Channel. My sophomore year I pitched a concept for a show that they bought. Working on that show from start to finish taught me a lot about how a television show operates.”
“I wrote for the Beacon and covered Pat Summitt’s winning season(s) so I met Pat Summitt, Mickey DeMoss and Holly Warlick while writing stories for the Lady Vols. So glad I got to work with Coach Summitt before her untimely passing.”
“My proudest moment would have to be the opportunity to cover the 2008 Lady Vols basketball team’s national title. My professors worked with my schedule, and I was able to focus on covering the games for the Daily Beacon and learned many valuable lessons.”
When Dean Rice advised anyone needing commercials made to contact me; this was during an awards ceremony before graduation. It was based on a project I did in Political Communications where I made an Ad for a fake candidate running for office.”
“Towards the end of senior year, my 400 level broadcasting class did a weekly show that I anchored with other students. I remember writing stories for the show and being very proud of our end product each week!”
Have a Favorite Memory?
Are you a CCI graduate? Tell us about your proudest moment as a student in the college. We might use your responses in a future story!