Lew Klein Awards recognize outstanding Temple alumni media personalities

Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards holds its 19th ceremony for the first time without media pioneer Lew Klein who died earlier this year.

Lew Klein College of Media and Communication Dean David Boardman takes Janet Klein's hand to comfort her as a video dedicated to the life of her late husband, Lew Klein, played during the Lew Klein Excellence in Media Awards luncheon at Mitten Hall on Oct. 4, 2019. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Janet Klein stood on stage where her late husband, Lew Klein, once did in the filled Great Court of Mitten Hall, speaking of his groundbreaking success and strong morals. 

“Lew knew the importance of recognizing success,” Janet Klein said on Friday. “Awards are incentives to move on and do more.”

The 19th annual Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards held on Friday, was the first in its history to celebrate the achievements of successful Temple alumni without Lew Klein, who died in June. 

Lew Klein, a broadcast media pioneer and namesake of the Klein College of Media and Communication, started the awards ceremony to celebrate and recognize the college’s alumni who have been outstanding in their careers. He selected each year’s honorees along with other college representatives and attended every ceremony. 

Six alumni joined the Klein College Alumni Hall of Fame this year. The honorees include Kyle Hall, a 2008 television and film alumna, Murray Dubin, a 1969 journalism alumna, Michelle Rice, a 1988 journalism alumna, Mel Greenberg, a 1969 journalism alumna, Julie K. Brown, a 1987 journalism and political science alumna and John Zissimos, a 1988 radio, television and film alumna. 

Jake Tapper, CNN anchor and chief Washington, D.C. correspondent accepted the Excellence in the Media Award.

“These are people that when they’re gone, the world will know that they’ve been here,” said David Boardman, dean of Klein College. “We try to honor those people who reflect the values of Temple, the values of our college and especially now the values that Lew Klein held dear around integrity, professionalism, and treating people well,” he added. 

“I feel very blessed and appreciate the fact that Temple believed in me. They gave me a scholarship to come here,” said Brown, an investigative reporter for the Miami Herald who investigated the sweetheart deal given to Jeffrey Epstein, a sex trafficker and billionaire.

After additional speeches from Boardman and JoAnne Epps, Temple’s provost, the honorees were introduced and awarded. 

Hall received the Rising Star award for his work as a photographer and editor at CBS Philadelphia followed by Dubin who was honored with the Alumni in the Media Award for his work as an author and journalist for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Rice was awarded for her success as a general manager for TV One and Cleo TV followed by Greenberg for his work with The Philadelphia Inquirer where he pioneered covering women’s basketball. 

“Little girls with dreams grow up to be women with visions,” Rice said in her speech.

Zissimos, the vice president of brand, creative and media at Google, received the final Alumni in the Media Award. 

Tapper gave a charge to young journalists to create a change in the media world, before the moderator concluded the ceremony and allowing guests to interact with honorees.

“Journalism needs fair people and we need young journalists and the ones Lew Klein award recipients help, the nation needs you,” he said. “You represent hopes and dreams and what journalism should represent.”

This year, 21 students were awarded the Lew Klein Scholarship, which helps sponsor an internship, a study abroad trip or an independent study.

“I wouldn’t have had the chance to go to Puerto Rico this past summer if I had not been awarded,” said Thomas Hernandez, sophomore communication studies major.

“The event was spectacular. Everybody’s speech was just really exciting,” said Ruth Stoolman, a 1994 journalism alumna. “The quality of people is mind blowing which simply shows some really incredible alumni. This just really drove it home for me.” 

“I got to hear some cool stuff like people in different walks of life and what they’ve been doing,” Kyra Dulcey, senior communication studies major said.

“If you have a dream, even though you can’t see it or you don’t know that you can do it, follow your passions,” Rice said after the ceremony. “Your dreams are formed by planning, following your passions, pursuing it with all your vigor and really digging in when you’re at a school like Temple University.” 

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