Letter from the dean 

Fall 2018 Edition


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Season’s greetings from Mount Oread! It’s a wondrous time of year when winter blankets Stauffer-Flint lawn and students trade their flip-flops for tennis shoes.

It’s been a special year for us.  We are the only named school at the University of Kansas.  People are often surprised when I tell them that. The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas is an impressive title. To most of our students and alumni, however, we are simply “The J-School.”

From our website: “In 1944, after the death of William Allen White, the world-famous editor of the Emporia Gazette, the Kansas Board of Regents established the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information... In 1982, the name of the School was changed to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.”

Throughout 2018, we honored and celebrated the legacy of Mr. White – Pulitzer-Prize winner, friend to presidents, kings and physicists, and owner of the Emporia Gazette.  The occasion was the 150th anniversary of his birth.  

In this issue of the Jayhawk Journalist, you will read about the film that the William Allen White Foundation Board of Trustees commissioned in his honor. We had a panel during the April celebrations that brought together five alumni who received the Pulitzer Prize and awarded them our distinguished alumni medals. We hosted former recipients of the William Allen White National Citation, and we recognized current students for their scholarships and awards.  We celebrated the 47 years Susanne Shaw gave to the J-School.  The hundreds of photographs from those days appear in a collage in this issue, and you can see a photo gallery from the four day-event here.

We have such a rich and prestigious legacy.  But we’re not resting there.  In May 2019, 75 years after the J-School opened its doors, we will break ground for a new front door for Stauffer-Flint Hall. Literally! From our special vantage point on Jayhawk Boulevard, we will create a new entry that opens onto a plaza that celebrates who and what we are in the J-School.  It’s also a time to again examine what we do here in these halls and ensure our relevancy for another 75 or 150 years, so in partnership with the physical changes, we are studying our curriculum.  

I’m sure you’ve heard that this is also a time of budget cuts. You might wonder how we can put money into a building when we had to cut 6 percent of our budget. You are the answer. Our alumni and other donors continue to provide us with a place to teach and practice the crafts of journalism. The catalyst for this project was the critical need to replace our elevator. Our labs and classrooms must be accessible to all our students. Thanks to generous donors, we can continue to build this school.  Over the next year, we will be asking for your support to create a new front door as we continue to welcome students to this uniquely named place.  

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyful holiday season and new year. 

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Ann M. Brill
Dean