Tom Griscom named Distinguished Alumnus
Tom Griscom, publisher and executive editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, will be honored as The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Distinguished Alumnus.
“His career as a political and media leader has placed him in the middle of many of the significant events that have shaped our times, and, in every instance, he has conducted himself with intelligence, professionalism and charm,” said Chancellor Roger Brown.
UTC director of alumni affairs, Jayne Holder, confirmed that Griscom was the unanimous choice among those on the selection committee.
As a student, Griscom served as editor of the campus newspaper, the UTC Echo and the Moccasin yearbook. He was a member of Blue Key Honor Society, and he graduated as a commissioned officer in ROTC.
Following graduation in 1971, Griscom was hired as a reporter and political columnist for the former Chattanooga News-Free Press. In 1978, he was named press secretary for then Senator Howard Baker. He later served as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and president of Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be the president’s assistant for communications and planning.
Griscom became executive vice president of external relations at R.J. Reynolds and executive vice president at the Washington, D.C., public affairs firm, Powell Tate Public Relations. At UTC, Griscom taught classes and held the title of West Chair of Communications and Public Affairs.
Griscom and his wife, Marion, also a UTC alumna, remain active at the University. They have hosted Alumni Office dinners and have volunteered for the UT Women’s Council, UTNAA and UT Board of Visitors.
Bert Caldwell, who played defensive back for the football Mocs under coach Scrappy Moore, has had a career in media which began at WDEF when he attended the University of Chattanooga. Caldwell has also been the recipient of the Joe Morrison Award, given to former University athletes for notable achievements. He was instrumental in reviving the C Club for all University athletes.
Caldwell has served on the boards of the Cherokee Council of Boy Scouts, WTCI, Chattanooga Advertising Federation and UTC School of Business’ alumni board.May 4, 2007