The University of Alabama

Three Communication Leaders to be Inducted into UA’s CIS Hall of Fame

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Three renowned communication and information leaders will be inducted into The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 21. 

The induction ceremonies will be at the NorthRiver Yacht Club. 

Established by the CIS Board of Visitors, the Communication Hall of Fame was created in 1998 to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names and accomplishments of civic and communication personalities who have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama. This year’s honored individuals include: 

▪ Sanford Morton “Sandy” Grossman
James E. “Jimmy” Mills
▪ Charles Joseph “Joe” Scarborough 

The Communication Hall of Fame Gallery is located in the rotunda of Reese Phifer Hall on the UA campus. Permanent archives will be established and maintained for the collection of memorabilia related to the lives and careers of those chosen for placement in the Hall of Fame. 

2010 College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame Inductees 

Sanford Morton “Sandy” Grossman (1935- ) 

Sanford Morton Grossman

 

 

Sandy Grossman was born in Newark, N. J. and, after graduating from Weequahic High School, Grossman emulated another New Jersey-Alabama alum, Gay Talese, and came south to The University of Alabama to study broadcasting, graduating in 1957. 

Grossman worked with Alabama Educational Television in its early years. Serving an apprenticeship as videographer and in many other capacities, Grossman learned his trade. 

After two years as a 2ndLt in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Grossman went to work with CBS in New York, first as a clerk in graphic arts, then with New York’s Channel 2, and then, in 1963, with CBS Sports. 

Grossman’s career as a director and producer of sports and entertainment television has been as spectacular as the events themselves. 

As lead director, Grossman worked for 21 years with Pat Summerall and analyst John Madden, bringing viewers the NFL, and then, in 1994, moved over as lead director with Fox Sports for NFL coverage. He directed 10 Super Bowl broadcasts, at CBS and Fox, more than any other director. Grossman won an Emmy for direction of the 1980 Super Bowl. Besides that Emmy, there are seven others, some for directing sports events of enormous significance, such as the Olympic Winter games in Albertville and Lillehammer. 

In connection with the Olympics, Grossman has also directed the Opening Ceremonies, the Parade of Athletes, and “Divas in Beijing,” one of the cultural arts productions staged during the Olympic Games in China. 

Grossman’s interests in directing have extended into other less well known and more esoteric areas of entertainment as well. He directed production of Robbie Knievel’s building-to-building jump in Las Vegas and jumps on the deck of the Intrepid, over the Grand Canyon, and others. He has directed “Celebrity Boxing,” National College Cheer and Dance Championships, and “America’s Party Live from Las Vegas” on New Year’s Eve 2003 and 2004. 

While Grossman’s specialty was live television, he has also achieved success in post-production with projects such as “Celebrity Boxing,” the “Ten Million Dollar Challenge” and many others. 

Grossman recently retired from Fox after 17 years, 41 total in the television industry, but is still looking for new challenges and is writing a book about his long career and his travels. 

James E. “Jimmy” Mills (1900-1998) 

James Mills

 

  

James E. Mills will be best remembered for his historic and heroic stand in defense of the First Amendment. On election day in 1962, at the height of the civil rights struggles being waged at Kelly Ingram Park and in the streets of Birmingham, Mills, then editor of the Birmingham Post-Herald, published an editorial calling for the citizens of Birmingham to reject then-Mayor Arthur Haynes and Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor by changing Birmingham’s form of government to a mayor-council system. 

The voters agreed, but Mills was arrested, in what can only be seen as an irony, on the charge of having violated Alabama’s Corrupt Practices Act, which forbade “electioneering” on Election Day. 

After Mills’ arrest, the case would be fought in the courts for four years until the U.S. Supreme Court found in Mills’ favor. 

The year 1962 may have been the most visible moment in Mills’ career, but there had been a long career in journalism leading to that moment. 

Born in Little Rock, Ark., Mills attended Little Rock public schools and Princeton University. Mills served in France in WWI with the 1108thAero Squadron, U.S. Signal Corps, rising to the rank of Sergeant. 

Mills worked on such newspapers as the Pine Bluff (Arkansas) Commercial, the Daily Oklahoman, the Miami Tribune, Cleveland Press, Cincinnati Post and the Memphis Press-Scimitar, moving to the Birmingham Post in 1931 and retiring as editor of the Post-Herald in 1967. 

All through his newspaper career and after his retirement, Mills was an activist. In an interview with Auburn University journalism professor Ed Williams at the time of Mills’ induction into the Alabama Press Association’s Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor, Mills declared he wanted to be remembered as a “crusading editor.” 

His crusades were many and varied. Mills was a tireless reformer. He fought to bring cheaper electric rates to Birmingham; he fought for legislation to protect Alabamians from poll taxes and from loan-shark usurers. He fought for stronger campaign finance and ethics laws. 

Mills worked for the Alabama Girls Industrial School in Birmingham and for the “Good Fellow Fund,” raising money for gifts for underprivileged children at Christmas. He promoted the development of the UAB Medical Center and the Southern Research Institute and was a charter member of the Birmingham Downtown Action Committee. 

Mills was a member of many journalistic associations and received the U.S. Steel Journalist of the Year award in 1966. 

After a life filled with honors and achievements, Mills passed away in 1998 at the age of 98. 

Charles Joseph “Joe” Scarborough (1963- ) 

Charles Joseph Scarborough Sr.

 

  

Joe Scarborough has been communicating for the past three years as the host of the lively and sometimes controversial MSNBC talk show, “Morning Joe.” Scarborough took over the early morning slot from Don Imus and now, with co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, the show’s audience has grown to over half a million viewers who tune in for discussions of the day’s top stories and interviews with politicians and other newsmakers, conservative and liberal. 

Scarborough had been the host of “Scarborough Country” since 2003 on primetime on MSNBC. From 2008 to the spring of 2010, he hosted “The Joe Scarborough Show,” also with co-host Mika Brzezinski, on WABC Radio. 

Born in Atlanta, Scarborough graduated from Pensacola Catholic High School, where he was quarterback of the football team, and then attended The University of Alabama, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985. Of those years, Scarborough has said, “I was blessed to get to watch the great Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant coach his final season.” 

He went on to earn a law degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1990 and practiced law in Florida until 1994. 

In 1994, Scarborough entered Florida politics and in vigorous campaigning persuaded the voters of Florida’s First Congressional District to give him the Republican Party nomination to the House of Representatives. Scarborough won and was re-elected easily and served as a member of Congress until 2001. 

While serving, Scarborough was given a lifetime rating of 95 percent by the American Conservative Union. A part of Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, and one of the “New Federalist” groups of freshmen Republican legislators, Scarborough served on the Judiciary Committee and the Armed Services Committee. After Scarborough left Congress, President George W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Council on the 21stCentury Workforce, serving with Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and labor and business leaders. 

In 2004 Scarborough published the bestseller “Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day,” which he has described as predicting the “collapse of the Republican majority and the U.S. economy due to the Republican Party’s reckless spending.” In 2009 Scarborough published “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise,” which made the New York Times Best Sellers list in Hardcover Nonfiction. 

Before beginning his career as a television personality, Scarborough was the publisher and editor of The Florida Sun, an award-winning Pensacola area newspaper.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Deidre Stalnaker, UA Media Relations, 205/348-6416, dstalnaker@ur.ua.edu
  • SOURCE: Neely Portera, UA College of Communication and Information Sciences, 205/348-5868