Same Room, New Name
The Communications department at Tennessee State University held a tribute ceremony for a fallen professor this afternoon. Journalism professor, Gethan Ward, died December 16th due to an illness during winter break, a few days after final grades were due. The department made up a small committee to find a way to both honor his memory and his impact. Wanting the family to be involved, the assembly was planned for today so that the department could honor the family and Ward’s contributions before they got on a plane back to Liberia this evening, after a month of mourning.
“Special thanks to Gannet publishing, The Tennessean, The Nashville chapter of National Association of Black Journalist and all others that contributed to the Gethan Ward Endowed Scholarship fund,” Dr. Tameka Winston, Interim Chair of the Communications department said.
The Nashville community responded to Wards death by giving. A scholarship fund was named after Ward and put in place specifically for Tennessee State University Journalism students. The scholarship amount was announced at fifty one thousand dollars with funds still being accepted. Winston also gave the family a glass award dedicated to Wards contributions, from the department. The University gave the department permission to name the news room after this award winning business writer, who was not only an honored alumni but a popular professor.
“ Some of the few lessons we can take away from his wonderful legacy is to be consistent, when you give your word keep your word, be humble you don’t have to be seen to be present be amazing you have greatness within you that you need to realize,” Dr. Sybril Brown, fellow NABJ member, said as she gave her tribute to him, “ He loved the students, he always made us remember the students even when we would go at it like family does he would always remind us what we do is for the students, Gethan always reminded us of our focus and even in this moment let us keep our focus on him as we continue to celebrate his legacy.”
The companies he worked for and continued to give back to all had their own vigils, tribute dinners, and published testimonials during the month of December keeping the family very busy. Ward’s mother reminisced about sitting in the library waiting for her son to get out of class teaching, before she cut the cord dedicating the news room
“He made the ward family proud even the people he met for the first time. You touched so many lives Gethan, you touched so many lives, every where he met people. This day I think it is a blessing for God to make it possible for you to have passed through this womb and come into this world, it is so special to me cause there are so many woman out there and you chose this womb to enter this world, so for respect to you as a mother for a blessing that I brought to this entire family I cut this ribbon in the name of the father the son and the holy spirit,” Wards mother cried out as she cut the entrance into the newly named newsroom.
The news room will be open for student’s continual use Monday morning when classes continue and the scholarship will be available to be applied for this fall.
Written by: Leona Dunn