Four Gainesville residents who have had a prominent role in journalism were named Thursday night as inaugural members of the Grady Fellowship of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia.
Celestia "Lessie" Smithgall, John W. Jacobs Jr., Frank Compton and Richard Riley were honored along with other inductees during the college’s Centennial Gala in Athens.
Smithgall, who was unable to attend, is a graduate of the Grady college and was a pioneer in both radio and newspaper.
She and her late husband, Charles, founded The Times in 1947.
Jacobs, founder of WDUN radio and a longtime leader in the broadcasting industry, also was inducted, as were Riley and Compton, who were principals of Sawyer, Riley, Compton, an advertising agency founded in Gainesville.
All three men were on hand for the black-tie event at the Classic Center in downtown Athens.
Among others inducted were Deborah Roberts of ABC News and Deborah Norville, host of "Inside Edition." Both women are graduates of the Grady college and were featured speakers at the gala.
The event was the first leading up to the journalism school’s 100th anniversary in 2015.