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  • Jay Latham

In memoriam: Jarvis "Jay" Latham

Jarvis “Jay” Harding Latham, 86, passed away Sept. 13, 2021. Latham taught in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications from 1976-2001.  

Latham played a key role in the development of the broadcast journalism senior semester capstone course in 1993. At that time, the University of South Carolina program was the only one in the nation where students earned 12 credit hours, worked in the newsroom five days a week and aired live 30-minute television and radio newscasts daily.

"Students report for, write, produce and direct both programs," Latham said. "There is no other program like this one."

Dr. Henry Price reflects . . .

Price taught print journalism and served as interim dean.

Jay Latham and I were colleagues on the faculty of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications for 25 years. As I think back on that quarter of a century, I am reminded of Jay in a number of ways.

He brought years of solid professional experience with him when he joined the faculty, experience that he shared with his students to prepare them for their futures. Many of his students came back years after their graduation to thank him for that preparation and to show their high respect for him.

I remember Jay’s solid work on numerous college committees over the years, work that helped our broadcasting area grow into one of the best in the country. When he spoke in faculty or committee meetings, his colleagues listened closely because they recognized his keen insight and knew that Jay never beat around the bush.

All of us who knew him appreciated his sharp, dry sense of humor, and each of us, I suspect, sometimes found ourselves the target of that wit. Jay and I often car-pooled to work. I wish I had recorded his humorous comments over the years about such things as politics, life as a member of the USC faculty and his experiences in the classroom. All of it would have made a great and highly entertaining book.

But I guess the thing I value the most about Jay and the years I knew him is his solid friendship. It’s not an easy thing to find, and I will deeply miss it — and him.

Dr. Sonya Duhé reflects . . .

Duhé team-taught the senior semester capstone course with Latham.

Jay Latham was a gentle man and true professional. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to begin the capstone senior semester program with him. Jay brought much-needed solid television and radio experience to the course that made it an overwhelming success. Perhaps even more important, he was always patient and calm while adding so much to the learning experience for students. 

Jay was the professor with a steady, guiding hand that was always ready to help students come up with a story idea or filling in the right words to make their projects better. Innumerable former students are successful today because of Jay’s influence.

As a mentor, Jay was always there for students. As I reflect on the years we worked together and the way Jay lived — his work ethic, love for family and his zest for life taught me more than words can express. The University of South Carolina is better today because of Jay Latham.

We’ll miss you my friend.

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