Distinguished Alumni Awards
Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award
2012: Leland Bassett
Leland Bassett is a native of Jackson who is leaving his mark on the world of communication management. A forth generation member of a pioneer log cabin farm family, Bassett graduated from Jackson High School and attended Jackson Community College on his way to Michigan State University.
Bassett has been a pioneer in the application of communication psychology (human communication behavioral sciences) and strategic planning to public relations, corporate communication and integrated strategic communication management for more than three decades. In the 1970s, Bassett introduced the nation's first corporate Strategic Communication Management Department. In the 1980s, he designed and taught the nation's first graduate strategic communication management curriculum at the MSU College of Communication Arts & Sciences. He also co-founded the nation's first commercial communication arts and sciences-based professional services firm in 1986, Bassett & Bassett, Inc., Communications Managers and Counselors, where he serves as chairman and chief executive officer.
Leland and Tina Bassett established the JCC Vera Bassett Nursing Scholarship in honor of his mother, who was instrumental in the establishment of the JCC nursing program. he was a founding member of the MSU CCAS Alumni Association, a past president, and recipient of its Outstanding Alumni Award. Active in the community, Bassett is past chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit, where the Tina and Leland Bassett Lounge is named in their honor; and co-founder and general co-chair of the Music Hall Producers. He is also a founding co-chair of the Detroit Institute of Arts Associates. Bassett has been married to his "partner-in-everything" Tina for nearly 40 years, with two sons and a grandson.