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Smith, Allen Named to Virginia Communications Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Hampden H. Smith III, Washington and Lee professor emeritus of journalism and communications, and Mike Allen, a member of W&L’s Class of 1986 and currently chief White House correspondent for Politico, on their election to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame inducts Virginia-born communicators, and persons born elsewhere who have become distinctively identified with Virginia, who have made outstanding long-term contributions in the field of communications.

Ham served on the W&L faculty from 1974 until his retirement in 2007. He is being recognized for “a 40-year career in newsrooms and in journalism education in Virginia, nationally and internationally.” In addition to his work in W&L’s classrooms, Ham also taught journalists in Eastern Europe’s emerging democracies about the responsibilities of a free press. As head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications for 14 years, he saw the changes coming in journalism and steered W&L’s journalism students toward learning how to  work on several news platforms simultaneously. He joins other W&L faculty in the Communications Hall of Fame, including Louis W. Hodges and the late Ron MacDonald.

Mike, a native Californian, was one of Ham’s students in the ’80s. He was editor of the Ring-tum Phi and went on to a career with several national news organizations, including the New York Times, Time magazine and the Washington Post. At Politico, Mike is renowned for his daily “Playbook” blog as well as his tenacious reporting on political issues. He graced the cover of a 2010 New York Times Magazine, which dubbed him “The Man the White House Wakes Up To.” Mike will be back in Lexington Thursday night, Feb. 9, to join another journalism grad, Kelly Evans, of the Class of 2007, to co-moderate the Mock Convention debate between Ann Coulter and James Carville.

Ham and Mike will be among the 12 individuals inducted on April 12 at the Hotel John Marshall, in Richmond. The emcee for the evening will be W&L alumnus Roger Mudd, of the Class of 1950, who was one of the inaugural inductees, in 1986. This newest class of 14 inductees will bring the total number of Hall of Famers to 140.