Two alumnae each pledge $5K to SJGC

Distinguished SJGC grads take part in a panel discussion. Photo by Jasmine Butler.

Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, as part of its “Grads Are Back” homecoming week events, hosted a panel discussion, “Beyond the newsroom: Where your journalism degree can take you.”

At the event, Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, and Yolanda Cade with Disney, unexpectedly pledged to donate $5,000 each to the SJGC.

FAMU students, alumni and faculty gathered in the SJGC lecture hall to discuss opportunities that exist for graduates with journalism degrees. Speaking from experience, each panelist shared their journey from SJGC to their current jobs and opportunities.

The panelists in attendance were Elise Durham, the communications director for the Atlanta Office of the Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, Denise Hendricks, the executive producer of “The Cross Connection” and “The Sunday Show” on MSNBC, and Yolanda Cade, the director of public relations at Disney Signature Experiences.

They are all graduates of FAMU, where they were students in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.

The panel was created to “highlight how journalism served as a foundation for their career trajectories and success in their respective fields,” according to the announcement sent out prior to the event.

At the beginning of the discussion, Cade, in her presentation to the SJGC dean, Mira Lowe, said she “felt compelled” to support the school that poured into her long ago.

Lowe said she looks forward to continued support in the form of donations to SJGC and that this is only the beginning.

“I was thrilled that both Yolanda Cade and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms chose to announce their support of the SJGC in such an amazing way. Their giving will help us serve students and build our program. As the new SJGC dean, I really appreciate their early support and generosity,” Lowe said.

Durham, the event’s moderator, agreed that SJGC had her support. She says that Lowe will be an asset to the school.

“You guys truly have a jewel,” she said.

Audience members had the opportunity to ask questions and join the conversation. A large part of the conversation was about networking.

Mayor Bottoms says that networking was important to her during her campaign. She was able to rely on her classmates from FAMU to extend help and assistance where it was needed.

The donations announced at the event will go toward building and improving the program, Lowe said.