The School of Communication and Theater held its 3rd Annual Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards ceremony Tuesday in the Great Court of Mitten Hall. The school paid tribute to six prestigious recipients.
WHYY news anchor and Temple Alumnus Tracey Matisak hosted the ceremony that brought a crowd of 200 supporters.
As a result of their professional achievements, five alumni were inducted into the School of Communication and Theater Hall of Fame.
The awards are given to alumni who have made exceptional progress and excelled in their chosen media field. The Hall of Fame plaques were presented by Concetta Stewart, Dean of the School of Communications and Theater, and Lew Klein, Founder and President of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) and 50-year educator at SCAT.
Among the alumni honorees were Phil Nicolo, independent music producer and engineer; Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office; Paul Spindler, President of the Paul Spindler Company; Ed Wade, Vice President and General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies; and Tandaleya Wilder, creator and host of the nationally syndicated radio show “She Got Game.”
“I am proud to have the opportunity to bring past students back to the school and honor them for their dedication to the field. It is the highlight of the year and we get to strut our stuff,” Stewart said when asked about the significance of the award to the students of SCAT.
All alumni award recipients acknowledged the University as a major part of their current success. One by one the honorees gave acceptance speeches paying respects to Temple faculty and professors who have had a positive impact in their lives.
“Temple has helped me find the focus and drive I needed to be successful and I am fortunate to be able to remain here in Philadelphia and excel in my career,” said Nicolo, a two-time Grammy award nominee.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award to actor David Morse. Temple faculty member Eugene Martin, who directed Diary of a City Priest, an independent film Morse starred in, introduced Morse. Morse has also starred in various films such as The Green Mile, Hearts in Atlantis, and Proof of Life.
Currently, Morse stars in and films the CBS hit series Hack here in Philadelphia. “I just feel the potential of this place,” Morse said in his acceptance speech. “Everything that this city does for Hack makes the show possible. [Temple] should be honored for your commitment to this city and this neighborhood.”
Morse talked about his character on the show, Mike Olshansky, and his love for the city of Philadelphia. However, most important was Morse’s acknowledgement of Klein and as he described “his deep faith in this school.”
First awarded in 2001 to namesake Lew Klein, the Excellence in the Media Award is given to distinguished members of the media whose outstanding achievements and commitment to service brings honor to their profession.
The award was established through the generosity of H.F. Gerry Lenfest, Klein’s wife Marguerite Lenfest and Walter and Leonore Annenberg of the Annenberg Foundation. It is the highest honor bestowed by the School of Communication and Theater.
Lew Klein was one of many who viewed the ceremony as a success.
“It gets better with each passing year,” Klein said. “This year it was a pleasure having David Morse. He is a sensitive and caring actor with strong family values. He is well-rounded individual with excellent character and the perfect recipient for this year’s award.”
Danean Nixon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.