If Terry Hunt ever decides to write his own biography, he could title it “From Bellevue to the White House.”
The UK journalism graduate, who covered four different presidents over 25 years for the Associated Press, will deliver the 40th annual Joe Creason Lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the William T. Young Library auditorium.
“Covering Reagan to Trump: A View from the Front Row” is the title of his address.
Hunt, a native of Bellevue, graduated from the University of Kentucky with a journalism degree in 1967. He served as managing editor and executive editor of the Kentucky Kernel.
He was drafted into the Army, returned to a summer internship with the AP in Louisville, then took a job in Providence, R.I. as an AP correspondent. The wire service transferred Hunt to Washington at the height of the Watergate scandal in 1974. During the 1980 presidential campaign, he was asked to cover California Governor Ronald Reagan for two days, an assignment that turned into the rest of the campaign. After the election, Hunt followed Reagan to the White House.
During the presidencies of Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W Bush, Hunt logged hundreds of thousands of miles covering the nation’s chief executive. He traveled to West Germany with Reagan, who stood at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Hunt left the White House near the end of the presidency of George W. Bush to lead AP’s coverage of the historic meltdown and Great Recession. Three years later, he was named deputy bureau chief in Washington to help manage the news agency’s largest bureau.
He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1993 and into UK’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2015. He also has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists’ DC Pro Chapter. He is a former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He won both the Merriman Smith Award for presidential reporting under deadline pressure and the AP’s Gramling Award for reporting excellence.
He was special speaker at the NKyTribune’s first annual community celebration in 2015.
Before Hunt delivers the Creason Address, he will be one of six recipients of the School of Journalism and Media “Distinguished Alumni” awards.
The other recipients are Cathy Black, a CBS producer; Judith G. Clabes, newspaper editor, online news site creator of the NKyTribune and KyForward and Scripps Howard Foundation president and CEO; the late William R. Grant, who produced award-winning programming for PBS; retired Courier-Journal editor David Hawpe, and Richard G. Wilson, one of the state’s foremost education reporters for the Courier-Journal until his retirement in 1999.
In addition, the seventh annual David Dick “What a Great Story!” Storytelling Award will be presented to journalism senior Derek Terry for his story on former football star Zeke Pike.
The Joe Creason Lecture is annually one of the highlights of the School of Journalism and Media academic calendar.
The lecture by a nationally prominent journalist honors the memory of Creason, an outstanding Kentucky journalist and an honored alumnus. The lecture series was made possible through a matching grant from the Bingham Enterprises Foundation of Kentucky and gifts donated by UK alumni and friends of Joe Creason.
The university family and the public are invited.