WMU News

Two broadcast pros earn Distinguished Alumni Awards

Oct. 7, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Two prominent communication professionals have been selected by the Western Michigan University Alumni Association to receive 2005 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

They are Roz Abrams, co-anchor for WCBS-TV in New York City, and Jack Clifford, a semi-retired media consultant and mass communications pioneer from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Abrams and Clifford will be honored during a dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in WMU's Bernhard Center. The deadline for reservations is Friday, Oct. 21. To make a reservation, call (269) 387-8777 or visit www.wmich.edu/alumni, click on "Events" and complete the online reservation form on the Distinguished Alumni Dinner page.

Roz Abrams earned a bachelor of science degree from WMU in 1970. She has been a reporter and anchor for almost 30 years and in April 2004, was named co-anchor for New York City's WCBS-TV (channel 2), the flagship station of the CBS Television Network.

She previously spent 18 years at WABC, also in New York, taking part in award-winning coverage of some of the biggest stories of our time, including 9/11 as well as the end of Apartheid in South Africa, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the Blackout of 2003. Abrams also has been a news anchor with Turner Broadcasting and helped launch CNN. She serves as co-chairperson of NY READS TOGETHER and is active in numerous community and charitable organizations.

Jack Clifford earned a bachelor of arts degree from WMU in 1956 and helped found the University's two radio stations: student-run WIDR and public radio's WMUK. During his 47-year career, he has been a pioneer in developing television programming and in the cable-TV, cellular-phone, paging, broadcast-cable and satellite-network industries.

In addition to working as an advertising sales representative and general manager in both TV and radio, he founded and was chairman of the Television Food Network and Northwest Cable News, a five-state, 24-hour news and information cable channel. He also helped develop ZDTV, later named Tech TV, which now is the G4 video game channel. Clifford is an active community volunteer and philanthropist, particularly in the areas of educational programming and the arts.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the WMU Alumni Association's most prestigious honor. It was initiated in 1963 to recognize graduates who have achieved a high level of success in their respective professions. To date, only 124 alumni have received the award.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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