Six Recognized as Alumni of Distinction

Matthew D. Bunker, Ph.D 1993, is the first doctoral grad to be named an Alumnus of Distinction by the College. He joins five others on this year’s list: James Harper, ADV 1963, who is also being named to a similar, UF-wide award; Guillermo I. Martinez, JM 1966; Jennifer McMillin, PR 1988; Scott Sanders, ADV 1979; and Johnny Tillotson, TEL 1959.

Matthew Bunker, Ph.D 1993,the Reese Phifer Professor of Journalism at the University of Alabama, is a First Amendment scholar. He is the author/co-author of two books, 35 refereed journal articles and two law review articles. He received the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression for his book, Critiquing Free Speech: First Amendment Theory and the Challenge of Interdisciplinarity.

James Harper, ADV 1963, is senior vice president for business development for Acordia, a Wells Fargo insurance brokerage division – is a UF Foundation director and a College Board of Advocates member. He owned an insurance brokerage firm in Clearwater. He served as a partner in and senior vice president of Rodgers & Cummings and worked at American Business Insurance Southeast and Merrill Lynch. He was chair of the capital campaigns for the Greater Clearwater Public Library and YMCA.

Guillermo I. Martinez, JM 1966, a semi-retired syndicated columnist, was The Miami Herald editorial board’s first Hispanic member. He is a consultant for Hispanic news organizations in Miami, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. The two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee served as UPI bureau chief in Argentina and Peru, and worked at El Nuevo Herald, Univision, Miami’s WLTV-Channel 33, CBS/Telenoticias Miami, and Organizacion Cisneros.

Jennifer McMillin, PR 1988, is executive vice president with GolinHarris, for which she runs the consumer practice of the Atlanta office. She is a creative and strategic senior manager. Her expertise includes program planning and development, campaign launches, issues management, consumer education, publicity campaigns and special events. Before joining GolinHarris in 2000, she was senior vice president and North American director of special projects for GCI Group. She interned with Ketchum Public Relations.

Scott Sanders’, ADV 1979, latest project is the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple . He has produced more than 1,000 shows and events. He received an EMMY for his production of the HBO Special, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty. He served as executive producer at Radio City Music Hall for 15 years, working with such entertainers as Liza Minelli, the Grateful Dead and Madonna. At Mandalay Television, which he founded, he executive produced six TV series, including ABC’s Cupid. He also produced presidential galas for Bill Clinton and George Bush.

Johnny Tillotson, TEL 1959, is a songwriter/singer who charted 26 hit recordings. More than 100 artists have recorded his “It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’,” one of two songs for which he received Grammy Award nominations. Billboard magazine ranks him in the top 150 recording artists of all time. He wrote and recorded his first hit, “Dreamy Eyes,” as a student in the College. He’s also known for “Poetry in Motion” and “Heartaches by the Number,” which earned him his second Grammy nomination. He performed the theme song for the 1965 ABC sitcom, Gidget.

Matthew Bunker
PhD 1993

James Harper
JM 1963

Guillermo I. Martinez
JM 1966

Jennifer McMillin
PR 1988

Scott Sanders
ADV 1979

Johnny Tillotson
TEL 1959