WarnerMedia’s Techwood campus dedicated to Ted Turner, the original maverick
It was standing room only on the front lawn of WarnerMedia’s Techwood campus in Atlanta last week when the campus and studios were dedicated to Ted Turner, the founder of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. The ceremony, hosted by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, honored Ted's legacy and paid tribute to what he began and built on the Techwood campus.
John Stankey, President & Chief Operating Officer - AT&T, Inc. and CEO - WarnerMedia, as well as Dennis Williams, Senior Vice President - Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility, WarnerMedia, gave remarks during the half-hour tribute.
Stankey’s remarks centered on Turner’s bold moves throughout his storied career, including when he started the first 24-hour cable news network as well as his purchase of the MGM movie library. He also highlighted Turner’s philanthropic efforts and role in environmental conservation.
“It is hard to identify a single word for someone as multi-dimensional as Ted, but from his business decisions to his commitment to the environment, the word that comes to mind is audacious,” said Stankey. “This dedication event is so appropriate given the history of what Ted has done for this company. We are forever honored and awed to be part of Ted’s legacy.”
In honor of the dedication, a new plaque was installed on the front of the Mansion building (see picture below).
In addition to the plaque, a mural of Ted Turner by famed muralist JEKS was revealed during the ceremony. The mural was created over a span of five days – check out the video time lapse below.
The dedication extended beyond the Techwood campus with the announcement of a $550,000 donation from WarnerMedia to the University of Georgia (UGA) which will help establish the permanent Ted Turner Exhibition Hall & Gallery at UGA as well as a new Ted Turner Scholarship Fund for incoming students at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication. With WarnerMedia's support and generous donations by the Turner Family and Turner Enterprises, Ted Turner’s Collection will be featured in two large marquee galleries that will showcase Ted’s legacy, including artifacts, photographs, biographical details and other invaluable items from the Turner Family’s Collection.
In addition to the Ted Turner Exhibition Hall & Gallery, part of WarnerMedia’s donation will be designated to the newly established Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, which will provide need-based scholarships to incoming students at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication. WarnerMedia will also establish a new Ted Turner Maverick Internship position, a prestigious summer internship that will be available exclusively to UGA Grady College students.
Ted Turner took the stage to express his appreciation for the ceremony and tribute.
Wolf Blitzer closed the day by raising a glass to the Original Maverick, restating the same words that Ted Turner said the day he launched CNN from the front lawn of the Mansion in 1980, “To act upon one’s convictions while others wait. To create a positive force in the world where cynics abound. To provide information to people where it wasn’t available before. To offer to those who want it, a choice.”
The dedication of the campus as well as the donations to UGA honor Ted Turner's legacy and help ensure that his impact and life’s work is forever captured, studied and treasured for generations to come. And most importantly, pave the way for the next maverick in the media industry.
Check out photos from the event below.