Grady College announces Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism
E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has announced the establishment of the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism. This new chair was made possible because of a recent gift of $250,000 from Don Carter, a 1938 graduate of Grady College.
The gift increases an endowment created in 2003 by Don Carter and his late wife Carolyn to the level of a chair. A separate planned gift will later add to the endowment. Establishment of the Carter Chair was approved recently by the Board of Regents, allowing the college to elevate the existing Carter Distinguished Professorship to its new status.
The Carter Chair will teach journalistic excellence to students entering the profession, emphasizing journalistic values of clarity, accuracy, fairness, balance and credibility, values that characterize the Carters’ professional careers.
In appreciation to the Carters, the college proclaimed Thursday as “Don and Carolyn Carter Day.” Faculty, staff, students and friends honored Don Carter with a ceremony at the college.
“Don and Carolyn Carter have long been loyal and generous supporters of the Grady College and the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “They understand the critically important role that private support plays in helping UGA achieve its goals. The Carter Chair will further enhance the academic experience for the students at Grady College. We are deeply grateful to them.”
The Carter Chair will be held by John Greenman, who joined the Grady College faculty in 2004 after nine years as publisher of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Greenman currently holds the Carter Distinguished Professorship.
“Don and Carolyn Carter were trailblazers for generations of Grady-trained journalists, and there is no more fitting an honor than officially to endow this chair, dedicated to journalistic excellence, in their name,” said Clark. “Their cumulative gifts, as well as their ongoing engagement and unwavering friendship, have helped ensure the Grady College can provide a rigorous academic curriculum and the most high quality educational experience possible for our students.”
“I am deeply gratified to see the Carter Chair established and have been pleased to watch its development since the original endowment,” said Don Carter. “Carolyn would be proud of our college and its commitment to strong journalism, which has never been more important than today."
Don Carter began his career as the editor-in-chief at The Red & Black before working as a reporter and editor at multiple newspapers across the county, including positions in Atlanta, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami. He was the founding managing editor of The National Observer before serving as vice president for news at Knight-Ridder until his retirement in 1982.
Carolyn Carter (ABJ ’40) was the first full-time female photographer for the Atlanta Constitution before working as a writer and photographer for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. She also worked at The Coca-Cola Company as a writer and editor. In retirement, she remained engaged in various civic organizations until her death in 2010.
The Carters, who were married for more than 67 years, met while covering the same story for competing newspapers—Carolyn for the Atlanta Constitution and Don for the Atlanta Journal. They married in 1942 after Don had begun his service in the U.S. Army for World War II.
“The gifts of Carolyn and Don Carter, now increased, have strengthened the professionalism, credibility and ethical commitment of scores of Grady graduates,” said Kent Middleton, head of the department of journalism. “Students and faculty deeply appreciate the Carters’ commitment to journalism excellence.”