Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The next chapter: Going "home" to make a difference

When I retired in March from  Gannett and my role as executive editor at the Montgomery Advertiser, friends and colleagues said they would be waiting to hear about Wanda Lloyd"s "next chapter," so sure they were that I am not ready to settle down and completely rest in the near future. Even close  family members said something like "yeah, right," when I told them I was ready to retire.

Journalism and communications studies have been a lifelong pursuit for me. Ever since I was a high school student in Savannah, Ga., and later as a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, I have found opportunities to pursue my goal of becoming the top editor of newspapers. Now seven daily newspapers later and as a participant and leader in the transition from print to the digital revolution, I felt like I had done all I needed to do in newspaper newsrooms.

Even with a side step along the way as the founding executive director of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University, and lecturing more times than I can count in university classrooms, it took me a while to realize that my ultimate career destiny might be on a university campus.

I am able to report that my career has come full circle -- literally.

I left Savannah the day after I graduated from high school. Now Savannah State University -- where I participated in numerous communications workshops as a student, and where I have been a keynote speaker twice at the Southern Regional Press Institute -- has called  for me to return home.

In July I will return to the campus as chair of the Department of Mass Communications, and dedicate the next few years working with the faculty to ensure that students are prepared for a 21st Century world of communications.


  1. Wanda, I love you not only because you're my wife but because you give so much of yourself to others. Over the years you have been a great mentor, teacher, leader, and sounding board for countless hundreds of colleagues young and old. Savannah State University and students of mass communication will benefit greatly from your knowledge, wisdom and experience. I will continue to support you in all your endeavors as I have over the 38 years of our marriage.

  2. What a perfect choice! Congrats Wanda and Willie (Willie there are lots of golf courses there!). Know you will continue to move Savannah State forward as Charles Elmore has done so well. Thinking of you!

  3. First, I must congratulate you. Now I can get a bit selfish and tell you I love Savannah and will be coming to visit.

    Stay in touch...If I can ever help you...just call, text or e-mail me and it's done.

    Be blessed and continue to bless all those who encounter your wonderful spirit.

  4. Huge congratulations!!! The students and faculty are so lucky to have someone who's been on the front lines of the revolution in how we inform our neighbors. And Savannah just happens to be the home of my heroes the Eighth Air Force. What a town!!

  5. Congratulations Wanda! Just heard about your "new life" the other day, and wanted to let you and Willie know how happy I am for you. I know that you all had wanted to go back to Savannah at some point, so it's wonderful that this opportunity has presented itself.

    Much love and success to you Willie and Shelby from my house to yours. Hope to see you soon.