From McEwen to the White House: Adam Garber ’03 receives Outstanding Alumni Award

The broadcast journalism graduate and White House video director returned to campus on April 23, visiting with classes and students before being honored at the School of Communications’ annual awards ceremony.

Adam Garber ’03 (right), recipient of the School of Communications’ 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award, was introduced by Communications Dean Paul Parsons at the school’s annual awards ceremony April 23.
​Adam Garber ’03, video director for the Office of Digital Strategy at the White House, was recognized April 23 with the School of Communications 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award at the school’s annual awards ceremony.

A regular visitor to the Oval Office, Garber frequently travels with President Barack Obama and his family, and produces a weekly web-episode called “West Wing Week.” The web-episode recaps topics both serious and comical, proclaiming itself “your guide to all things 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.” Check out its April 17 edition for a closer look at the broadcast journalism graduate’s work.

During his acceptance speech, Garber drew a correlation between his arrival as an undergraduate in the fledgling School of Communications and his tenure working in a new office in the White House.

He recalled being drawn to the school because it was still establishing itself. “The spirit of being something new was amazing,” the Kensington, Maryland, native recalled. “And I feel that spirit is still here.”

Garber played a notable role in the school’s development, serving on Communications Dean Paul Parsons’ first Student Advisory Board and providing a valuable student perspective.

When he arrived at the White House six years ago, the new media department was a brand-new venture – not unlike the School of Communications in the early 2000s. He said he appreciated not being held to a previous standard and that the position provided him an opportunity to make a greater impact on the office’s direction.

Garber credited the school for exposing him to a diverse group of people as well as opinions. The lessons he learned on campus continue to play a role in his post-graduation life.

During his April 23 visit to campus, Garber spoke with Associate Professor Rich Landesberg’s ‘Broadcast News Writing’ class. 
​“I learned how to carry myself here,” he said.

Additionally, Garber pointed out to the audience that Elon’s name is a valuable asset for its graduates. “I’m sure all the alumni you run into out in the greater world have told you that Elon has an amazing reputation in our industry, and it is great to see the continuation of that in you,” he explained.

To close out the ceremony, an example of Garber’s work was screened for attendees. For the White House Correspondents’ Dinner two years ago, Garber produced this two-minute clip that included famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

During his introduction of Garber, Parsons welcomed him back to campus and recounted the alumnus’ journey from Elon to Washington, D.C., and ultimately Pennsylvania Avenue.

“After spending the past six years seeing history made at the White House, we are delighted that Adam is back reliving his history at Elon,” Parsons said.

Prior to the awards ceremony, Garber visited with Instructor Colin Donohue’s “Multimedia Journalism” class and Associate Professor Rich Landesberg’s “Broadcast News Writing” course, and enjoyed lunch with several students.