The College lost one of its leading alumni when Thomas Massey McEwen, 88, JM 1944, passed away Sunday, June 5, 2011. For nearly five decades, he was the most influential voice in the Tampa Bay area’s sports community. He was named the College’s Alumni of Distinction in 1974, becoming only the fourth alumni to receive the designation.
From 1962-2001, McEwen was The Tampa Tribune’s sports editor and columnist. He then wrote columns for TBO.com until his death. His journalistic acumen and relationship-cultivating skills were widely credited with creating a wave of community support that led to the building of Tampa Stadium and attracting a national football league expansion team that became the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
McEwen was born in Tampa March 16, 1923, and raised in Wauchula Fla., as part of a pioneer Florida family that included cousin and former Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Doyle Carlton, and older brother, Red McEwen, a well-known Tampa attorney, politician and civic leader before his death in 1976.
While at UF, he was president of ATP, executive editor of The Alligator and a member of Florida Blue Key.
However, he received his degree in absentia due to World War II. During his two years in the war, he entered as a private and exited as a captain while serving in the Pacific Theatre as a platoon leader with the U.S. Army’s 785th Tank Battalion. Later, he served as a prison officer of Prisoner of War Camp No. 1 in the Philippines, running a camp that included 2,000 prisoners.
He began his non-military newspaper career at the Fort Myers News-Press, where he was a general assignment reporter from 1947-1949. He left to become a criminal investigator in the Philippines for the U.S. government, working out of Manila for six years.
He returned to the newspaper business in 1954, when he became a sports writer with the St. Petersburg Times. In June 1958, he was named sports editor of the Tampa Times, after the Tribune and Times fell under the same ownership. He oversaw a staff of three.
On April 1, 1962, he was named sports editor of the Tribune, a position he held until his first retirement in the fall of 1992, when he had advanced to the title of assistant managing editor. From 1992-2001, he served as the Tribune’s primary sports columnist, continuing his signature “Morning After.” He was a prolific writer, producing an estimated 10,000 columns during his career.
He was the only member of the media to sit on both the college and pro football Hall of Fame selection committees. In 1995, his presentation was credited with the selection of Buccaneers defensive end, Lee Roy Selmon, into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He once was chosen one of the 25 most influential people in Tampa. He had the press boxes at Tampa Stadium and the St. Pete Times Forum named for him. When Raymond James Stadium was built, the street just south of the new stadium was re-named, Tom McEwen Boulevard.
In 1993, he received the Red Smith Award, the highest honor given to a sports writer. In 2000, he received the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Writers of America for long and meritorious work as a football writer, and was honored during the Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Linda; son, Rick McEwen (Jane); daughters, Virginia Mullaney (Kevin), Gabriella Grammig (Richard) and Elissa McEwen; grandchildren, Christopher Stork (Susan), Stephanie Flynn (Mark), Sean Mullaney (Meghan), Thomas Linthicum and Richard McEwen; and three great-grandchildren.
Julian M. Williams
Former College faculty member Dr. Julian Marshall Williams, 58, MAMC 1987, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on July 6, 2011. A native of Savannah, Williams was a veteran television reporter and a highly respected professor of mass communications. He split his time between Gainesville and Orangeburg, S.C. where he taught at Claflin University. Williams was a 1971 graduate of Savannah’s Sol C. Johnson High School, where he was elected student body president during 1969-70, the school’s first year of integration. After graduation, Williams attended Boston University, earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
He returned to Savannah in 1975, beginning his career working for the radio station at Savannah State College. Soon afterward, he moved to WSAV-TV, holding positions as technical director, news reporter and sports reporter, before becoming Savannah’s first African-American news anchor. He subsequently held prominent positions at WCIV-TV in Charleston, WSOK Radio in Savannah, and WJWJ-TV in Beaufort.
Williams enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Florida, where he obtained a master’s degree in mass communications. An outstanding student, he was offered a teaching position on the faculty after graduation. In the late 1990s, Williams took leave from the University of Florida to attend Indiana University, where he earned a Ph.D. in mass communications with an emphasis on international communications. He returned to the University of Florida in 1999 to resume his teaching there, earning a “Teacher of the Year” designation from the students of the program in 2005.
In 2007, Williams joined the faculty at Claflin University in Orangeburg, serving as one of the key professors in the department of mass communications. He was one of the nation’s experts on the media during the civil rights era, having written illuminating articles about the experience of television and radio stations and photographers in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina during the 1950s and 1960s.
Williams is survived by his wife of 19 years, Karlene Kerr Williams; his two daughters Michelle, 18, and Nicole, 14; his mother, Alma S. Williams of Savannah; his sister, Estelle Crenshaw (Wesley) of Savannah; three brothers — Russell Williams of Norton, Mass., Kenneth Williams of Savannah, Ga., and Percy Williams (Sandra) of Conyers, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews.
Lynda Lee Kaid
Telecommunication Professor Lynda Lee Kaid unexpectedly passed away on April 13, 2011. She was 62. Kaid, a former George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the University of Oklahoma, joined the UF faculty as senior associate dean for graduate studies and research in 2001. Her special fields of research and teaching included political communication and political advertising. She was a recipient of a UF university-wide Outstanding Doctoral Mentoring and Advising award for 2010-2011, and in November 2010, the National Communication Association named the annual Lynda Lee Kaid Outstanding Dissertation in Political Communication award in her honor.
A three-time Fulbright Senior Scholar, Kaid chaired 41 doctoral recipients, many more masters recipients, and coordinated the UVote research team, an international consortium of faculty and graduate students at 32 universities in the U.S. and 12 international universities who joined together to conduct political communication research.
She promoted interdisciplinary teams of collaborative research and was committed to providing international research opportunities for doctoral students. In 2009, she received one of UF’s International Educator Awards. She received over $1.8 million in competitive grants and other funding from sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Federal Election Assistance Commission, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the Council for European Studies at Columbia University. She authored or edited over 30 books and nearly 200 refereed articles and book chapters. Kaid was named by Communication Quarterly as one of the most productive scholars in the discipline.
A few of the many honors she received include being named a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award, Southern Illinois University, October, 2007, with a permanent picture/award on the Honor Wall in the Student Center; a Plaza of Heroines Permanent Brick, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Iowa State University; and two commendations from the Oklahoma Legislature for achievement as a George Lynn Cross Research Professor and for the founding and activities of the Political Communication Center and the Political Commercial Archive at the University of Oklahoma. The Political Commercial Archive was designated one of “America’s Treasures” by the White House Millennium Council and the National Historic Preservation Trust in 1999.
Professor Kaid was preceded in death by her father, Billy C. Kaid, of Eldorado, Ill. She is survived by her husband of over 37 years, Clifford A. Jones, of Gainesville, of UF’s Levin College of Law; her mother Leona Kaid, sister Patricia Kaid Kittinger of Eldorado, and brother Terry C. Kaid (Carrier Mills, Ill.), as well as nieces Alicia Kaid Bugg, Holly Kaid Wenzel and nephews Tyler Kaid, Logan Kittinger, Alex Kittinger, and three great-nephews.
Patricia A. Seifert
Longtime WRUF staffer Pat Seifert died July 23, 2011, at Haven Hospice in Gainesville. She was 79.
Pat worked for some 30 years at WRUF, where she was advertising traffic manager. She was a long-time member of Holy Faith Catholic Church.
She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia M. Monroe of Gainesville; sons Scott R. Monroe (Wanda Ziems) of Melrose, Danny T. Monroe (Joy) of Gainesville, and Barry R. Monroe of Gainesville; three sisters, Joan Flower (Robert) of Sebring, Nancy Fitzgerald (Gene Zuzich) of Lady Lake and Tina Sloan (Steve) of Marietta, Ga.; a brother, Bob Arndorfer (Pennie) of Gainesville; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Pat was preceded in death by her son, Clyde L. (Lee) Monroe, who died at age 17 in 1978, and her husband of 37 years, Tom Seifert, who died June 30, 2011.
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