It takes something special to deliver the nightly news at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. every night of the newscast for 44 years, a dedication that has paid off for Don Alhart ’66. He delivers the evening news for Rochester’s WHAM- TV and was recently honored by the New York State Broadcaster’s Association as he was inducted into theirHall of Fame, placing him alongside newscasting legends like Barbara Walters and Walter Cronkite.
Ithaca has a strong history of both in print and broadcast journalism and has turned out many notable alumni, including the community hero Don Alhart. Throughout his career, Alhart was offered positions in larger markets but it was always a top priority to remain grounded and be an active member in his hometown community.
The Edward R. Murrow Award for writing and best newscast in the country for Rochester’s market size as well as the Ithaca College Professional Achievement Award are just a few of the honors that Alhart received before being inducted into the NYSBA Hall of Fame. Alhart says the experience was humbling. “To see my whole family, I think kind of put it in perspective all of the sudden, that it really was a big deal. Looking back 44 years, it certainly is the highlight of those 44 years and the recognition that hadn’t expected.”
So what was the undergraduate experience like to bring a broadcaster to receive such a high honor? Busy! “If I had gone to [another university] I think I would have had to have been a graduate student before I could even touch a camera or run the audio board. So at Ithaca we had not only to opportunity to learn the equipment and work with almost every face of broadcasting but you were doing a service to the community,” says Alhart. Election night was always the most exciting in his time at Ithaca because he was able to report on radio and television as a student when other local stations were off the air. WICB was the source for local news and Alhart was able to deliver election results to the entire community. Other activities included being a brother in Ithaca’s broadcast fraternity, working as a DJ at the local AM radio station WTKO, and, of course, ICTV and WICB.
One of the things that Alhart brought with him was his dedication to the community. Being inducted into the NYSBA Hall of Fame is a huge honor but it is even more impressive coming out of a smaller market such as Rochester. He stayed close to his home town to get involved with everything from the Rotary Club to the Salvation Army and he even received the Tikkun Olam (תיקון עולם, "Repairing the World") award from the Jewish Community Center, and with his induction the entire community as well as Ithaca College congratulates him on his lifetime achievements.
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Fuse is a student produced publication about the Ithaca College experience. All content in the print and web versions of Fuse is developed by current Ithaca College students in a breadth of different areas of study.