PULLMAN – The WSU Edward R. Murrow School of Communication presented the Hall of Achievement awards April 2 to school alumni Gary Larson, Kenji Kitatani, Tim Pavish, Ron Carter, Michael Shepard and Patrick M. Scott.

Larson, a 1972 alumnus best known for his cartoon panel “The Far Side,” was unable to attend the event but sent a message to the school stating how his interest in advertising and biology led to his successful career.

“I never foresaw how this might all come together, but it’s pretty clear to me now that my classes at WSU were vital in both nurturing a creative bent I thought I might have, but also in stirring my interest and providing me with a solid background in biology as well,” Larson said.

Larson has received numerous awards, including WSU highest award of distinction, the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990 and the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year from The National Cartoonists Society in 1991 and 1994, who also named The Far Side Best Syndicated Panel in both 1985 and 1987. He also has published 23 Far Side books, each of which has appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List.

Kitatani, a 1977 alumnus, is the Lester Smith Distinguished Professor of Media Management at the School of Communication, a trustee of the WSU Foundation and a senior advisor to the Sports and Entertainment Academy for the Graduate School of Business at Indiana University. He also lectures on media law and management at WSU and Indiana University. 

He has served on the Board of Directors of Tokyo Dome Corporation, Japan’s leading leisure and entertainment conglomerate, and has worked for the Tokyo Broadcasting System as counsel on international affairs and president of the Media Research Institute. 

Kitatani joined Sony Corporation in October 1999 as executive strategist, Media Content, Broadcasting and Communications and was later appointed executive vice president, Business Planning, Sony Corporation of America. 

He currently serves as a board director of PIA Corp. He joined Oak Lawn Marketing in April 2006 as their executive advisor. Oak Lawn Marketing is the largest television shopping (DRTV) company in Japan.

Pavish, a 1980 cum laude graduate of the Murrow School, is the executive director of alumni relations and interim vice president of university relations at WSU. Pavish and his team have guided the WSUAA to become the fastest-growing alumni association in the country. He also acts as a communications advisor to the WSU Athletics Department.

For more than 20 years he worked for DDB Worldwide in Seattle, originally called Elgin Syferd. During his tenure, DDB/Seattle grew from a small agency with approximately 20 employees and $12 million in billings to the largest agency in the state of Washington with more than 165 employees, a quarter of a billion dollars in billings and numerous clients across the country. 

Pavish was the managing partner in charge of the advertising division which was, at the time, the agency’s largest and most profitable unit. He was also named to DDB’s “Team 2000,” the next generation of worldwide corporate leaderers; led the agency to become a WSU benefactor; and established the DDB Minority Student Scholarship to benefit WSU students of color. In addition, he led the development of several acclaimed advertising campaigns for the WSU Foundation and WSU Athletics.

The Walla Walla native became a member of the Murrow School Advisory board and eventually chaired the board. The revitalized Murrow Symposium, the annual Murrow Award and a reorganized board structure are three of the innovative initiatives he established while serving on the board. He remains on the Murrow Board as an ex-officio member. 

Carter, a 1966 broadcast communication alumnus, enjoyed a five-year career with the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, San Francisco, before returning to his broadcast roots in 1974 when he became an entry-level sales person at KIRO Newsradio, Seattle.  He was promoted to assistant sales manager at KIRO before becoming general sales manager at KPLZ-FM, Seattle, in 1978.  In 1981 he returned to KIRO as VP-Sales. 

In 1997, he was hired to manage Fisher Broadcasting’s radio properties in Portland, Ore. One of his proudest moments was receiving the NAB Crystal Award in 2002, honoring KWJJ as one of America’s top-ten stations for community service. Carter retired after a 30-year career in radio sales, sales management, and general management. Since 2004, he has worked with a colleague consulting major law firms.

Carter and his wife, Louise, have been involved with the WSU Foundation, serving both as trustees and trustee ambassadors. He has also been a member and president of the WSU’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communication Advisory Board. He has been involved in work to support the Murrow Symposium, served on a task force to study independence for the school, served on the board and was president of Missouri Broadcasters Association, served on the board of Oregon Association of Broadcasters, and served as president of Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association. 

Shepard, president of the Seattle Times Washington Affiliate Newspapers and publisher of the Yakima Herald-Republic, is a 1985 Murrow School alumnus and a second-generation newspaper professional. While at WSU he was a reporter and then managing editor of the Daily Evergreen student newspaper.

He began his professional career in 1985 working as courthouse reporter for the Idahonian/Daily News, in Moscow and Pullman. After working for the Kitsap County-based Sound Publishing for nearly 12 years and the Port Orchard Independent, Shepard joined the Seattle Times Company in 2000 as publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and became publisher of the Yakima Herald-Republic in October 2003.   

His involvement in the community includes serving as president of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, chairing the Professional Advisory Board of WSU’s Murrow School of Communications and serving on the board of directors for Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington.

Scott, a 1967 alumnus, served as president and CEO of Fisher Broadcasting, Inc. from 1992 until his retirement in 2001.  

His broadcasting career spans 31 years with Fisher Broadcasting, where he has held positions as floor director, producer/director, production manager, vice president and station manager, executive vice president of broadcast operations and general manager, and eventually president and CEO.  

At that time, Fisher Broadcasting owned and operated KOMO 4 Television, Seattle; KATU Television, Channel 2 in Portland; Fisher Television Region Group, comprised of 11 television stations in California, Georgia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington; Fisher Radio Seattle- KOMO AM 1000, KVI AM 570 and STAR 101.5; Fisher Radio Portland, Fisher Radio Regional Group, consisting of 18 stations operating in Montana and Washington; Fisher Communications and Fisher Entertainment.  

Scott has been recognized as Broadcaster of the Year from Washington State Association of Broadcasters and has received the WSU President’s Outstanding Service Award for his advocacy and service to WSU and the WSU Foundation.

Presenting the awards were Steve Lutz, vice chair of the Murrow School of Communication Advisory Board; Erica Austin, chair of the Murrow School of Communication; and Provost and Executive Vice President Robert Bates.

This is the second year the Murrow Hall of Achievement awards are presented. Last year, the inaugural class of inductees included Jay Rockey, Keith Jackson, Ted Baseler, Art McDonald, Kathi Goertzen and Mike Harney.

The vision of the Murrow School Hall of Achievement Award is to serve as career recognition for graduates of the Murrow School. To be eligible for the Murrow School Hall of Achievement, the nominee must be a WSU graduate with an undergraduate or graduate degree from the MSOC and have milestone career achievements having made significant contributions to a specific field/industry in the communication field.