Taft Alumni Hall of Fame  TAA Logo

Donald E. Mellema, BA, January 1955

Donald Mellema (JUan 55)Don earned his BA degree in speech from Beloit College in 1959, and landed his first professional broadcasting job at WGEZ, Beloit. He subsequently moved to stations in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Oshkosh. In 1966, he joined WGN Radio.

In 1969, he became Anchor/Reporter for WBBM Newsradio 78 and served the station as Morning Drive-Time Reporter logging hundreds of miles each week to keep Chicagoans informed of the latest breaking events. He was named “1994 Newsfinder of the Year” by the Illinois Associated Press for his individual contributions to the AP.

Don was a frequent guest speaker/lecturer, carrying the message of broadcasting’s place and the importance of education into classrooms as a member of the Chicago Public Schools Youth Motivational Program. He has been honored many times by the Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding contributions as a commissioner and unit leader. He has also served as a deacon in his church and is active in fundraising for the Uhlich Children’s Home.