For release: October 26, 2009
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
The University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club will honor three individuals at its
annual awards dinner Thursday, Nov. 5, at The Racquet Club of Memphis. The club will
present Kini Kedigh Plumlee and David Waters with the Charles E. Thornton Outstanding
Alumni Award, and Jerry Klein will receive the Herbert Lee Williams Award.
A reception will begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner following at 7. Tickets are $50
per person or $375 for a table of eight. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 30.
For reservations or more information, call Alumni Coordinator Fariss Adams Ivey at
Plumlee is editor of Le Bonheur magazine and a communications specialist for the Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center
Foundation. Under her direction, Le Bonheur magazine won the gold award from the Healthcare
Advertising Awards and the Prism Award from the Tennessee Society for Healthcare Marketing
and Public Relations. From 2003-05, Plumlee was a columnist and editor for The Commercial Appeal’s Bartlett Appeal section. Earlier she served as director of communications for Theatre
Memphis and public relations director for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. She also
has been a freelance writer, editor, reporter, and public relations and marketing
Kini Kedigh Plumlee
Plumlee was the first female editor of the U of M’s Daily Helmsman. As a member of the newspaper’s staff, Plumlee interviewed Congressman and presidential
candidate Mo Udall, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, comedy duo Cheech and Chong,
and musician Barry Manilow
Waters is editor and producer of “On Faith,” The Washington Post’s online site for religion news and commentary. Since joining the Post in 2007, his
subjects have included Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Dali Lama, Pope Benedict XVI, Bono,
and Richard Gere. He also produces a blog for the Post.
Waters worked at The Commercial Appeal for 27 years, advancing from bureau reporter to copy editor, wire editor, and associate
editor, and covering everything from education to politics to religion. He was the
“Faith Matters” columnist for nine years, exploring the ways faith matters to Memphians,
not only once a week during worship services but in their everyday lives. Among his
many honors, Waters was named Scripps Howard Headline Writer of the Year and Column
Writer of the Year, and he was inducted into the Scripps Howard Editorial Hall of
Fame. He won the Wilbur Award for best newspaper column and was a finalist twice for
the Religion Writer of the Year award from the Religion Newswriters Association. While
at The Commercial Appeal, Waters created and led The Commercial Appeal Writing Fellowship, an on-the-job development
program for writers and editors, and he was co-creator of a Journalism Academy.
Klein is the founder and director of Kossman/Klein & Company, a full-service advertising,
marketing, and public relations firm. He and his wife, Juliet Kossman Klein, are the
entire staff and management of the firm. Klein is chairman of the Economic Development
Commission of the City of Germantown, serves on the board of directors and executive
committee of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is chairman of the Memphis
Tourism Foundation. He also is past president of the Mid-South Advertising Agency
The Charles E. Thornton Award is named for a Memphis journalist who was killed while
on assignment in Afghanistan in 1985. The Herbert L. Williams Award is named for the
U of M Journalism Department’s founding chair.