Former ETSPJ President Alan Carmichael earns prestigious alumni award from University of Tennessee

Alan Carmichael
Alan Carmichael

Alan Carmichael, a former president and board member of the East Tennessee chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, has received the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information’s most prestigious alumni award for notable contributions in the field of communication and information.

Carmichael, who is now president of Moxley Carmichael, received the 2021 Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award – which is named for the college’s first permanent dean – at the UT College of Communication and Information’s (CCI) annual awards banquet in October.

“Alan Carmichael is one of the most talented and prolific individuals in his field,” said Joe Mazer, dean of the college. “He’s had a remarkable professional career and generously supports CCI and the Knoxville community. The Hileman Award is fitting recognition for everything he has accomplished and all he has done and continues to do to pay it forward.”

Carmichael thanked the college for the award and congratulated the other honorees. He told the audience the two major challenges facing the communications field are transparency and disinformation.

“Disinformation campaigns are causing great damage to our democratic society,” Carmichael said. “The news media and communicators everywhere must stick to their guns and focus on digging for the facts and presenting them fairly. They must also continue to expose the purveyors of deliberate misinformation.

“I encourage students to take what they learn from CCI about accuracy and fairness and take on these challenges.”

Carmichael is a former reporter and assistant city editor at The Tennessean in Nashville, former senior vice president of communications at TVA, and, for 23 years, president of Moxley Carmichael public relations in Knoxville.

Previous winners of the Hileman Award include former Tennessee and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning; John Noble Wilford, the Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer for The New York Times who covered the first moon landing in 1969; and Richard Marius, former UT professor and historian and teacher of writing and English literature at Harvard University.