More than 100 faculty, students, and friends gathered at the Eugene Country Club on Friday, November 5 to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of two distinguished alumni at the 2010 Hall of Achievement. Honorees were the late J. Wesley “Wes” Sullivan ’43 and 2010 Eric Allen Award winner Robert K. Elder ’00.
The Hall of Achievement was established in 1998 as a way to connect today’s students with the legacy of its most distinguished alumni and faculty; the school’s signature event, it raises money for the Hall of Achievement Student Fund.
Established in 2002, the Hall of Achievement Student Fund provides access and opportunity for our best students. Thirteen SOJC scholarship funds honor members of the Hall of Achievement. This year the SOJC will award scholarships valued at more than $400,000.
The School of Journalism and Communication is grateful to the Baker family and to The Register-Guard for their continued partnership in the Hall of Achievement, as well as to the Journalism Advancement Council, BRANDSTREAM, Julie and Rocky Dixon, Brian Erb and Karyn Smith, Gayle and Ron Timmerman, and Western Communications for their table sponsorships and for making the event a success.
About the 2010 Inductees:
The son of a single mother and a child of the Great Depression, Wes Sullivan worked two paper routes until he had saved enough money to attend the University of Oregon. His more than fifty years as an editor and columnist at the Salem Statesman-Journal had a major impact on journalism in the State of Oregon, and his civic leadership and service to his community was equally inspiring. Wes, who died in 2007, was a founding member of the Journalism Advancement Council and served for twenty years; in the mid-1990s he helped to build a laboratory space in Allen Hall, the Bill and Elsie Sullivan Reporting Lab, where today students learn the fundamentals of reporting and begin to navigate a multiplatform world.
From the moment he arrived in Allen Hall, Rob Elder ’00, our 2010 Eric Allen Award winner, has seized every opportunity available to him and created many more. Not yet forty, his career as a writer and editor has been prolific, with more than five books to his credit—most recently, the widely acclaimed Last Words of the Executed—and he has published pieces at several major metropolitan daily newspapers and magazines. Elder is blazing trails in the Web 2.0 world. He founded Odd Hours LLC, which launched the user-generated sites It Was Over When: Tales of Romantic Dead Ends and It Was Love When: Tales from the Beginning of Love. Both websites went viral very quickly, attracting more than 1 million hits within a few months. Today, Elder is a regional editor for AOL’s new venture Patch. com, which he calls “a dashing, bold adventure.”
These accomplished alumni join sixty-one others from diverse professions and walks of life who have been inducted into the Hall of Achievement since its inception in 1998.