Earlier tonight, I had the joy of attending Monmouth University’s Department of Communications annual MACE Award presentation. The MACE Award – which stands for Monmouth University Award for Communication Excellence – has been awarded each of the past four years and this year’s recipient was Jim Nantz from CBS Sports. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Mr. Nantz because I don’t really follow sportscasters and their careers. All I could really tell you about sportscasters is that John Madden was hilarious and I’m not a big fan of Joe Buck, especially when he is paired with Troy Aikman.
Prior to tonight’s event being publicized a few weeks ago, I had no concept of Mr. Nantz and his accomplishments nor had I ever attended a MACE Award presentation. Going into tonight, I really had no idea what to expect. By the end of the night, though, I was very pleased that I decided to attend.
Mr. Nantz has a wonderful speaking voice which is in the style of your classic broadcaster. His voice is not overmodulated to any great degree and he knows how to use the tones in his voice to accentuate a story. Sitting and listening to him talk in a conversation-style format for about an hour wasn’t aurally aggravating in the least. In fact, the tone and scope of his stories were both appropriate and relevant to today’s college students (many of the audience members were current undergraduates at the university). I thought that the organizers of this event chose the perfect format for Mr. Nantz to discuss his career with young minds, his professional colleagues, and other members of the university and local business community.
The entire event was very well produced and it came off very professionally. Two videos were shown on the beautiful scoreboard in the new MAC Center (the scoreboard was lowered so as to avoid strained necks). The first video highlighted the Department of Communication at Monmouth University and I have to admit that I learned a great deal about the program from that brief informational piece. While I thought that there were one or two stiff performances on the video, I was very impressed with the diversity of viewpoints presented – from current undergraduates to recent alumni to current professors and more. It was a very well produced piece.
The second video was shown towards the end of the night and it was a highlight reel of Mr. Nantz’s career. I enjoyed watching that video because there were some great sports moments included (which I can now associate with Mr. Nantz). I think the video may have been produced by CBS Sports, but it was a great, comprehensive review of Mr. Nantz’s accomplishments in sports broadcasting.
At the very end of the night Mr. Nantz announced that he was making a donation to the Department of Communication to name a classroom in honor of one of his great friends. That friend is Eli Spielman – the gentleman who co-authored Mr. Nantz’s book, Always by My Side: The Healing Gift of a Father’s Love. I’m not sure if this was a planned move by the Department of Communication to generate more donations for the program, but it was definitely a classy move for Mr. Nantz. The announcement didn’t seem rehearsed at all so it could have very well been an act of benevolence on behalf of Mr. Nantz. In any event, it was a great way to end a very classy evening.
Monmouth University has, again, impressed me and Mr. Nantz was a great honoree with a great spirit. All in all the 2009 MACE Award presentation was a good, well-run event.