History of the JSchool

HSJW students HSJW students

Apply for Fall

Apply online today

History of the Journalism School

1923. Raymond M. Slutz offers first journalism course in English Department, with frequent visits in class from Athens Messenger personnel (Frederick W. Bush, publisher; Charles Harris, managing editor; and P.O. Nichols, advertising manager). Thirty-two students take first class. OU President E.B. Bryan gains Board of Trustees' approval for a Department of Journalism.

1924. George Starr Lasher hired by President Bryan to establish Department of Journalism in College of Liberal Arts, with home in Ellis Hall. News Reporting and Magazine programs established. Served as director until 1951.

1925. Lasher arranges with Frederick W. Bush for students to enroll in Reporting Practice and Editing Practice at Messenger, first association of this type known in the country. First Messenger staff member Wesley Maurer added as adjunct faculty member.

1926. First graduates of new journalism program include Clarence Bolen, who was president of the Press Club.

1927. Ludel Sauvageot is first woman graduate of journalism program.

1930. News-Editorial program added to News Reporting and Magazine programs.

1936. OU President Herman G. James reorganizes university, creating the School of Journalism, placing it in the College of Commerce, and moving it to the ground floor of Ewing Hall. Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree created.

1937. First graduating class to receive BSJ degree.

1938. Broadcast course added to curriculum.

1941. Journalism programs formalized into sequences: General Writing and Editing, Feature and Magazine Writing, Advertising, and Business Management.

1946. The faculty begin a summer workshop for high school students and journalism advisers, under the direction of Dr. Rush Elliott.

1947. Seven sequences are News Writing and Editing, Feature and Magazine Writing, News Advertising, Business Management, Radio Journalism, Pictorial Journalism, and Public Relations. L.J. Hortin joins faculty.

1948. Master's degree added in the School of Journalism.

1949. Ohio Legislature passes resolution honoring Lasher's contributions to journalism education upon occasion of program's 25th anniversary at Ohio University.

1950. Lasher and Hortin plan to apply for accreditation.

1951. Hortin becomes director as Lasher retires from directorship and continues to teach.

1952. First accreditation received and sequences consolidated and trimmed to five: News Writing and Editing, Feature and Pictorial Journalism, Advertising Management, Radio Journalism, and Public Relations.

1954. Radio Journalism sequence name changed to Radio-TV Journalism.

1955. School of Journalism moves with rest of College of Commerce to Copeland Hall, where it occupies ground floor.

1962. College of Commerce name changed to College of Business Administration, with School of Journalism remaining a major component within it.

1967. Ohio Newspaper Association Recognizes L.J. Hortin with its Distinguished Service to Journalism Award as he retires from directorship. J. William Click named acting director.

1968. John R. Wilhelm resigns as director of McGraw-Hill World News to become director of the School January 1; he also becomes dean of College of Communication when it is created that spring. Journalism remains in Copeland Hall, with Ralph E. Kliesch, as assistant director, managing the school. Board of Regents approves Ph.D. in Mass Communication degree to be administered jointly by School of Journalism and School of Radio-Television (renamed the School of Media Arts & Studies in 2008). New College of Communication dean's office opens in Pilcher House. Faculty holds first Bush Seminar (weekend planning retreat), financed by the Gordon K. Bush Memorial Fund. First Journalism Week held during first week of May. Faculty voted first Carr Van Anda Awards "for enduring contributions to journalism" to Turner Catledge, Edward W. Barrett and Walter Cronkite.

1969. School of Journalism moves into new Radio-Television Building, along with School of Radio-Television. Some journalism faculty offices and classes occupy rooms in Haning Hall.

1970. Journalism Week name changed to Communication Week to incorporate entire College. Kliesch appointed associate director of School. School of Journalism retains five sequences, but changes Radio-TV Journalism sequence name to Radio-TV News. Athens Magazine founded (later renamed Southeast Ohio Magazine). First foreign-correspondence intern, Jeffrey Smith, sent abroad.

1971. Ralph S. Izard becomes assistant director. Birthney Ardoin awarded first Ph.D. given by School.

1972. Two full-time administrative positions created. Wilhelm becomes full-time dean of College of Communication; Guido Stempel becomes full-time director of School.

1973. First university professorship awarded in School goes to Robert E. Baker.

1974. School of Journalism moves to Lasher Hall (formerly Athens Messenger Building), with faculty, staff and classrooms under one roof.

1975. Lasher Hall dedicated. University's first Fulbright professorship awarded to Kliesch.

1977. School accredited for first time in all sequences individually making it second only to Missouri in number accredited.

1978. School of Journalism cooperates with College of Fine Arts to launch Institute for Visual Communication.

1979. Stempel resigns as director of the School to become director of Bush Research Center. Baker appointed acting director. School cooperated with other academic units to establish Center for Communication Management.

1980. Kliesch becomes acting director of the School. Charles Scripps attends Journalism Banquet for the first time.

1981. Cortland Anderson resigns as vice president- corporate affairs, Washington Post Co., to become director of the School of Journalism. Thomas Peters appointed associate director. Wilhelm retires as dean of the College of Communication, but continues teaching courses. ACTV-7 News begins televising 15 minute news program five nights per week.

1982. School re-named E.W. Scripps School of Journalism to honor E.W. Scripps, a penny press pioneer who founded a newspaper group that eventually included almost 40 newspapers, including three in Ohio's principal cities. The E.W. Scripps Papers are available through Ohio University's Special Collections (Alden Library); Scripps Howard Foundation gives $1.5 million endowment with portion designated for architectural study to remodel and expand Carnegie Hall into E.W. Scripps Hall. Stempel becomes first Ohio University distinguished professor in field of communication.

1983. The Associated Press Managing Editors Association names School as one of 10 outstanding schools of journalism in the country. Six sequences are accredited and professional master's degree program accredited, making Ohio University and University of Missouri the only two programs in the country with this record.

1984. Groundbreaking for E.W. Scripps Hall held. Scripps Howard Foundation gives additional $250,000 to equip new building.

1985. Anderson dies on Christmas Eve. Stempel becomes acting director during period of search for new director.

1986. School moves into E.W. Scripps Hall winter quarter. Dedication of Scripps Hall held May 2. Izard becomes director of the School. Anderson Auditorium named in honor of Cortland Anderson. Bush Research Center named in honor of Gordon K. Bush. Lasher Learning Center named in honor of George Starr Lasher.

1989. School received 1804 Grant of $25,000 to internationalize its curriculum.

1991. The Center for International Journalism (later renamed Institute for International Journalism) is approved by OU Board of Trustees. Anne Cooper-Chen named director.

1992. The Center for International Journalism receives $80,000 grant from Freedom Forum to send 10 journalism professors to Leipzig University in the former East Germany. Charles Glover, BSJ '49, donates $200,000 to establish professorship in international journalism.

1993. The Center for International Journalism receives $1 million Third Century Campaign donation from Sally Aw Sian, chairwoman of Sing Tao Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong based newspaper group, to establish an endowed chair faculty position in international journalism. The Russell N. Baird Graphics Lab dedicated. The Rufus Putnam Visiting Professional Program commences; Walter Friedenberg first Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

1994. The John Wilhelm Amphitheatre dedicated.

1996. The graduate program was named one of the ten best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

1997. The Sing Tao Center is dedicated. The center is the home of the School's international programs. During the previous five years the School of Journalism twice led the country in the most refereed papers given at AEJMC or been in the top three in the country. The school awarded two graduate students with campus-wide Graduate Student Teaching Awards.

1998. Ralph Izard retires as director, and Daniel Riffe is named interim director. Terry Anderson appointed Scripps Visiting Professional.

1999. Kevin Noblet appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2000. Michael Real appointed director; Doug Poling is appointed Scripps Visiting Professional. Terry Anderson named director of the Institute for International Journalism.

2001. Kenneth Freed appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional. Robert Stewart named director of the Institute for International Journalism.

2002. Bradley Martin appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2003. Thomas Hodson appointed director; John Brady appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional; new sequence added for online journalism.

2004. Kate Webb appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2005. Leonard Pitts appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2006. Mark Prendergast appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2007. Mark Tatge appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2008. Yusuf Kalyango named director of the Institute for International Journalism.

2010. Robert Stewart appointed director.

2011. Andy Alexander appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2012. Julia Keller appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2013. Julia Keller re-appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2014. Bob Benz appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.

2015. Julie Agnone appointed Scripps Howard Visiting Professional.