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Former ACU instructor inducted into Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame

Keith McMillin
Photo courtesy of the Washington Missourian Newspaper. McMillin is presented with a plaque by Doug Crews of the Missouri Press Association.

Keith McMillin, instructor emeritus of journalism and mass communication for ACU, was recently inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in Washington, Missouri.

McMillin, who was the initiator of the photojournalism program in the department journalism, began his ACU career in 1983.

"Keith McMillin, with his quiet manner, years of newspaper experience, and his keen eye for story-telling photos, brought the missing visual element to our journalism and mass communication program," said Dr. Charles Marler, professor emeritus of journalism and mass communication at ACU. "He became a lifetime mentor and true friend to ACU photojournalism alumni."

McMillin's career began after he graduated from Texas Tech University in 1953, He was soon hired as a reporter and photographer for the Big Spring Daily Herald. This job, according to McMillin, reinforced his love for photography he'd had since junior high school.

He worked at the Herald for 11 years, before moving on to the Columbia Daily Tribune in 1964 to oversee its photography department. Under McMillin's direction, the paper won many awards from the Associated Press, the National Press Photographers and the Missouri Press Association.

In 1971, McMillin won the C.G. Wellington Memorial Award from the Associated Press for a "ground level" spot news photo of a man handcuffed on the ground being guarded by officers and a police dog. 

"Awards were not my goal," said McMillin in a recent interview. "But to just do my everyday job of reporting the news in a truthful and honest manner."

McMillin worked as chief photographer for the Columbia Daily Tribune before coming to ACU. He is now retired and lives in northern Arkansas.

"I took a basic photography class from Keith before I knew I wanted to be a photojournalist," said Cade White, director of the photojournalism sequence at ACU and a former student of McMillin. "He made the classroom fun and photography exciting. Later, when I moved into the teaching side of photojournalism, I looked again to Keith as an example."

The Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame endeavors to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to Missouri journalism, and to provide an exhibit venue to showcase these visual reporting pioneers.