From the editor
My favorite singer/songwriter Harry Chapin ended each concert with the song “Circle.” That pretty much sums up how I feel after joining the College as its director of communications – that whole “it seems like I’ve been here before, years keep rollin’ by” thing.
While not a graduate of UF, (Western Kentucky University, JM/ENG 1979) I feel like I’m the next best thing. For the past 30+ years, I’ve had a special relationship with the College.
My first – and most important – connection to the College is my husband Larry Vettel, TEL 1981, who I met in April 1980 after Norm Carlson hired me as the Assistant Sports Information Director for the Gators. Larry and I married in August of 1981 after having dated a grand total of seven months. As we laugh today, there were plenty of people who wouldn’t have bet on the girl from the dry county in Kentucky and the Irish Catholic boy from the Bronx still being happily married today.
In those early years of our marriage (i.e., before kids), we were friends with many of Larry’s classmates and colleagues at WRUF: Mark Sieron, ADV 1981 & JD 1984, and Robyn Goulding Sieron, TEL 1982; Sharyl Thompson Attkisson, TEL 1982; Catherine Smith Harwood, TEL 1982; Chuck Cooperstein, TEL 1981; Mark Tudino, TEL 1982; Don Mariutto, TEL 1983; and Keven Cohen, TEL 1992.
I am fortunate to have known every Dean of the College starting with the dear Rae Weimer, whom I met while working for Patsy Trubow Hollister, JM 1971 & MAMC 1972, at Alachua General Hospital.
My membership in the Florida Public Relations Association introduced me to College characters like Charlie Wellborn, Joe Pisani, Jim Terhune and Jack Detweiler. I got to know the inimitable Bob Leach (general manager of WRUF) and the lovable Voice of the Gators Otis Boggs – both larger-than-life figures on the radio side of the College who left us too soon.
I helped Dean Ralph Lowenstein plan WRUF-AM’s 60th anniversary and was fortunate to meet Red Barber, JM 1934, and his lovely wife, Lila, who attended. Larry still cherishes his autographed copy of Red’s 1970 book, “The Broadcasters.”
And then, in 1987, I joined the College as an adjunct instructor and taught public relations courses for six years. I met many wonderful students, some who remain friends still today like Karen Oliver, PR 1991, and Mike Neumeier, PR, 1992.
“So you can see, I’ve been around the College for a long time and I’m now thrilled to have been asked by Dean John Wright to help communicate to the masses what a great place this is. But I need your help with communications. And the College needs your help to continue to shine.”
Many of the PR grads who were in my classes then may remember our daughters, Dana and Jennifer, trick or treating at one of my classes or delivering chocolate hearts to my students on Valentine’s Day. Today, our girls are all grown-up. Dana, 25, works for the UN World Food Programme in New York City; Jennifer, 22, will graduate with an engineering degree from Columbia University this May.
In my first few days in this new job, I’ve met students like Erika Zayas, PR 2011; Dayana Falcon, ADV 2011; and Steve Johnson, JM 2011, who reinforce that today’s students are just as amazing as those before them.
So you can see, I’ve been around the College for a long time and I’m now thrilled to have been asked by Dean John Wright to help communicate to the masses what a great place this is. But I need your help with communications. And the College needs your help to continue to shine.
We need you to stay in touch with us, to fill out and return the enclosed card. We need you to help us place our students in internships and jobs. We need you to send me letters, emails and story ideas for this wonderful publication Jim Terhune so wisely edited for so many years. And we need your dollars so we can continue offering top educational opportunities to these bright students who today sit in the same classrooms many of you haunted in your day.
So I’m asking you, read this issue. Check out the great research and teaching our faculty members are doing. Call or email your former professors and see what they’re up to. When Dean Wright and his development team come to your city, get out, meet them and celebrate this College’s legacy with other grads. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and the website.
Meanwhile, as I leave the College each evening, I often think of another of the Chapin boys’ lyrics, this one from Steve’s song “Let Time Go Lightly” – “Old friends, they mean much more to me than the new friends, Cause they can see where you are, and they know where you’ve been.” Keep in touch.
- The Fab Four: Gator grads launch new all-sports format on WRUF-AM
- Gator grads head The Miami Herald newsroom
- John Spence: one of nation’s top 100 thought leaders
- Mike Neumeier: The Power of PR
- Melissa Lyttle named to association board
- Three College graduates honored at the Florida Heritage Awards
- 21st Century News Laboratory opens
- College plans digital communication laboratory
- Finding love at the CJC
Coming & going
- Christiano named to Karel Endowed Chair
- Wanta is new Journalism chair
- College welcomes three new faculty members
- New staff
- Harry Guscott retires after 39 years
- Advertising students receive national recognition
- Public Relations team wins international competition
- College restructures media properties
- College and UAA enter into partnership
- College broadcasts local high school game
- Jerry Davis
- Marion B. Brechner
- Mickie Newbill Edwardson