National Journalism Society Taps UA Professor for Top Honor

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. W. David Sloan, professor of journalism in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at The University of Alabama, has been selected as one of the five most significant contributors to Kappa Tau Alpha in the 90-year history of the journalism honorary.

Leaders throughout the society’s history, including 35 national presidents and 15 chapter advisers of the year, were nominated, and nine finalists chosen. A vote of 93 chapter advisers and national officers led to the final selections.

The selection was part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), which asked each of 65 honor societies to select its most significant contributors. The award was announced officially Thursday, Feb. 17, in Orlando, Fla., during the annual meeting of ACHS.

Sloan is the current national president of Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA). He has served as a chapter adviser for 27 years, 17 at UA. Before that, he was adviser at the University of Arkansas for 10 years. He was the 1990 recipient of the prestigious Taft Award as the Society’s Outstanding Chapter Adviser.

Along with his KTA work, he is known for a number of other activities and awards. He has written or edited 20 books. His textbook “The Media in America: A History” is used at 120 universities. He has received 13 awards for his research in media history, including the American Journalism Historians Association’s (AJHA) Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is the founder of the AJHA, the AJHA’s Southeast Symposium and the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) — an organization of journalism departments at 40 universities. The SEJC’s annual award for the outstanding journalism professor in the region is named in his honor.

Sloan is also co-founder, along with his wife, of the Southern Christian Writers Conference, which holds an annual writing workshop that attracts approximately 170 participants and is recognized as one of the top such workshops in the nation.

Other recipients of KTA’s outstanding contributor award are former national executive directors Frank Luther Mott and William H. Taft, current executive director Keith P. Sanders, all of the University of Missouri, and KTA’s first national president, Lawrence Murphy of the University of Illinois.

For further information about KTA, contact: Keith P. Sanders, executive director, Kappa Tau Alpha, School of Journalism, University of Missouri 65211-1200.


Lance M. Skelly, Office of Media Relations, 205/348-3782


Dr. Ed Mullins, 205/348-8592