I’ve been waiting a long time to announce this … the National Press Photographers Association is moving its national headquarters to the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Take a deep breath and think about that for a moment.

If you’re here reading this, you probably have had some contact with Grady and UGA. Dean Charles Davis and I have been working on this for 18 months. There are so many possibilities to explore here, so much potential to better both organizations.

I have many, many thoughts and feels on this, but I’ll tell you why we did this – it’s for my kids. This is my tenth year of teaching here at Grady and, every semester, without fail, the students who step into the Photo Cave are the most intellectually engaged and willing to fail people I’ve ever met. They work phenomenally hard, they fail miserably and get right back up and figure it out. They believe in journalism, they believe in community, they believe in the power of images to change the world.

For them, the last year and a half’s worth of work is totally worth it.

And for the NPPA, an organization I have held near to my heart for a quarter century, this partnership opens up new worlds – from working with my colleagues to deeply analyze the role of photojournalists in news organizations to building even better educational programs to server the membership.

It is a very good day here in Athens.

Mark E. Johnson

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