It all began in the fall of 2007. A class of upper-level public relations students was charged with rebranding the School of Mass Communication. The 16 members of the CMMN A318 P.R. Cases & Campaigns class, working in teams of four, had to devise a plan to create awareness of a program that many thought had been eliminated in the post-Katrina reorganization at Loyola. What had been the Department of Communications now had a new name but little name recognition. So the students had a great challenge: breathing new life into a 70-year-old institution that had been pronounced DOA by some in the community.
Among the four campaign proposals the class created and turned over to the SMC that semester was the idea of a hall of fame. Fast forward five years, which – in academic time – is but a blink of an eye. After hours of additional research, many discussions and brainstorming sessions, a rigorous selection process and university support, the Den of Distinction was born.
On Friday, May 11, kicking off the SMC’s celebration of 75 years of communication excellence, the first four of what will be many distinguished alumni were inducted into the Den of Distinction. They are truly shining stars, representative of the success of Loyola’s communication graduates and models for current and future students. And they are:
John Deveney, Class of 1988
John Deveney opened his own firm in 1996 in New Orleans, after working in government, hospitality, education and health care. Deveney Communication specializes in strategic planning, crisis management, media training, community relations, internet marketing and media relations. Their clients include Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Louisiana Office of Tourism, March of Dimes and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
An internationally-recognized practitioner and speaker and certified as both an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and Public Relations practitioner (APR), John was selected by PR News for its first of “15 to Watch” PR leaders from around the world who are shaping the profession. PR News named him 2006 Agency Executive of the Year and in 2011 inducted him to its Hall of Fame. John topped PRWeek’s list of the profession’s four “Brightest Stars and Ambassadors that are Heroes” and was included in the PRSA College of Fellows.
Shawn M. Donnelley, Class of 1991
Shawn Donnelley is a permanent part of the SMC. Literally. She is the founder and patron of the Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications, a student-run agency that gives mass communication students real-world experience in public relations, design, advertising, event and strategic planning by working with nonprofits to create communication solutions.
Shawn is president of Strategic Giving, a Chicago-based philanthropy consulting firm. She is a member of the executive committee of the Chicago Community Trust, a Guild Fellow of Corpus Christi College and University of Cambridge, a member of the boards of United States Artists and American Associates of the National Theatre and is a past chairman and current trustee of the Goodman Theatre.
Today’s Chicago Woman magazine named Shawn one of 100 Women Making a Difference in Chicago, and she’s been recognized by Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network. In 2008 she was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “Forty under Forty.”
Maurice (Moe) Guillerman, Class of 1953
Maurice Guillerman came to Loyola for Wolfpack baseball, then went on to build his PR and production skills in the U.S. Army, where he became producer of a TV show called “Your Army In View.”
Returning to the city as an account executive for the New Orleans Item newspaper, Moe was hired away by a client, the newly-formed WWL TV, where he started as an account executive in 1958. Positions as national sales manager, general sales manager and assistant general manager followed, until he eventually became station manager, where he remained until he retired.
While at WWL, Moe hired some of the best-known figures in the New Orleans broadcast community: Jim Henderson, Hep Glauddy, Bill Elder, Eric Paulsen and Angela Hill.
Bob Marshall, Class of 1971
Bob Marshall is best known as the outdoors editor of The Times-Picayune, but he’s covered topics as diverse as the environment and the Olympics.
He got his start at The Maroon, where he served as sports editor and news editor. He’s also been conservation editor and South region editor for Field & Stream Magazine, South columnist of Outdoor Life Magazine and written features for publications ranging from Reader’s Digest to National Geographic Adventure.
In 1997 Bob was a member of The Times-Picayune’s three-man team that earned the newspaper its first Pulitzer, the Public Service award for the series “Oceans of Trouble.” In 2005 Bob’s investigations into Corps of Engineers missteps in building the New Orleans levees and floodwalls was part of the paper’s reporting package that won the Pulitzer for Katrina coverage.
Bob was co-authored of the series “Last Chance: The Fight to Save a Disappearing Coast,” which won the 2007 John H. Oakes Prize for Distinguished Environmental Reporting from Columbia University, and the Keck Award for best science reporting from The National Academies of Sciences.
Since 2008 Bob has been the journalism professor for the Institute for Education in International Media at the University of Urbino, Italy.