Celebrate Our Centennial

Looking Forward to Our Next Century of Innovation

From humble beginnings in 1914 in a dilapidated set of offices heated by coal burning stoves, the UT School of Journalism has risen to become one of the nation's foremost journalism schools. We are celebrating our 100th birthday at a time of transformation, challenge, and innovation. We have a glorious history—great journalists and national leaders have passed through our doors, from Walter Cronkite, Lady Bird Johnson, Liz Carpenter and Bill Moyers to more than two dozen Pulitzer Prize winners and many others who are doing outstanding work in our profession and other fields.

But we also have a great future, with a state-of-the-art new building—the Belo Center for New Media—a transformed undergraduate curriculum, and a bevy of new projects, programs, and initiatives, all under the umbrella of the Moody College of Communication. We want to use the Centennial to connect our students with our alums and our school with the wider community we seek to serve , and we plan to hold several events throughout the year.

Beginning with the first day of classes on January 13, when we welcome UT President Bill Powers, State Senator (and J School alum) Judith Zaffirini and Moody College Dean Rod Hart to a noon-time celebration in Cronkite Plaza, we invite you to join us in making 2014 a year to remember.




  • Celebration Kick-off


    Cronkite Plaza
    12:30 p.m.

    At a ceremony January 13, state Senator Judith Zaffirini presented a proclamation from the Texas Senate honoring the School of Journalism's centennial.

    Baratunde Thurston


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 2.106 - 3:30 PM

    Pundit, blogger, adviser to President Barack Obama, he is the New York Times bestselling author of “How to Be Black,” and former digital director of The Onion.

    Rick Atkinson


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 2.106 - 3:30 PM

    Former Washington Post journalist where he covered the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars and served as Berlin bureau chief, he is also a Pulitzer-winning author of six books, including "The Army at Dawn."


    Neil Leifer


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 2.106 - 3:30 PM

    Filmmaker and photographer whose 50-year career has included regular publication in every major national magazine, including Newsweek, Time, People and, most often, Sports Illustrated.

    Bob Woodward


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 2.106 - 4:00 PM

    Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post investigative reporter and author Bob Woodward of Watergate fame will discuss reporting with School of Journalism Director R.B. Brenner.

    Scholarly Symposium


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 5.208

    Texas Journalism's High-Impact Scholars Symposium to celebrate the school's 100th anniversary.


    Through the Lens


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 5.208 - 2:00 PM

    UT's Pulitzer-winning photojournalists, faculty, and former students talk about their work. Featuring Lucian Perkins, Judy Walgren, Eli Reed, Dennis Darling, and Meridith Kohut.

    Making a difference


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 5.102 - 10:00 AM

    Community Journalism in Texas. Retired UT journalism professor Griff Singer talks about the impact of community journalism with Yvonne Mintz, Diana Fuentes, Jim Moser, and Libby Averyt.


    Candy Crowley


    Belo Center for New Media
    BMC 2.106 - 5:00 PM

    CNN anchor and reporter Candy Crowley will deliver the 2014 School of Journalism Centennial's Mary Alice Davis lecture.



Student Learning Initiatives

Providing students with the best education in new media technology.

Reporting Texas

Reporting Texas

Students at Reporting Texas tackle real stories destined to be published on the RT website and, often, by one of our publishing partners like the Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman.

Reporting Texas is a teaching clinic that produces professional-grade news for its website and the journalism school's publishing partners. Teachers at Reporting Texas are all seasoned editors from publications such as Newsweek, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Austin Statesman.

Reporters at Reporting Texas move out of the classroom and into the field. They gather words and images, then craft stories using whatever media are best for telling them. Every story goes through at least three levels of editing, resulting in coverage that matches journalism's highest standards.

Reporting Texas is the latest example of the Journalism School's long tradition of producing publishable coverage for the news media of Texas and beyond. In addition to its close relationship with the Daily Texan, the Journalism School previously offered Caplink and Capital News Service, both of which covered Austin topics for Texas newspapers.

Reporting Texas began in 2009 with support of a grant secured by professor Tracy Dahlby under the Carnegie-Knight Foundations' "Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education." Reporting Texas has quickly become an integral part of the Journalism School and now has permanent endowment support from the Moody Foundation.

The goal of Reporting Texas is to produce seasoned journalists ready to step into the modern digital newsroom and perform at the highest professional level.

Mobile App Development

Mobile App Development

By Katey Psencik

In 1914, newsrooms only had a few telephones and maybe a typewriter or two. Paperboys yelled "Extra! Extra!" on street corners, and news took days, rather than seconds, to be disseminated. Today, newsrooms are full of cutting-edge technology. LCD monitors display news from around the world in real time, reporters spend hours on Facebook and Twitter, and breaking news updates are pushed straight to users' mobile phones.

In such a world, journalists are required to stay up-to-date on new technology. Senior lecturer Robert Quigley is working to train technology- and mobile-minded journalists in his course, Mobile News App Design, which began in spring 2013. Quigley divides journalism and computer science students into teams that develop mobile apps with the goal of submitting to the Apple App Store. The teams present their work to a panel of judges, fellow students and professors at a Demo Day at the end of spring semester that is open to the public.

"This class gives the students a chance to get out of their comfort zone," says Quigley. "We're not asking them to just use modern tools — we're pushing them to invent the tools. The intersection of technology and communication fascinates me, and my goal is to create developers who can communicate, whether they are journalism or computer science students." After the maiden voyage of Mobile News App Design, Quigley realized that students needed a prequel. So he created an intro to mobile programming class for students to learn the basics of iPhone programming.

Students at work

Students at work

Global Outreach

International Reporting

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas is a professional training and outreach program for journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has provided online training for thousands of journalists and journalism professors throughout the Americas and has helped produce a new generation of independent journalism organizations. These organizations have created self-sustaining training programs to raise the ethical and professional levels of journalism, thereby contributing to freedom of the press and democracy in the hemisphere.

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Knight Center

Visit knightcenter.utexas.edu

Broadcast Journalism

Broadcast Reporting

Texas Newswatch is the weekly student-produced TV newscast that develops video storytelling skills. Two courses, J330F TV Reporting and J335G Advanced TV Reporting and Producing, create video content for the weekly 30 minute newscast. In the first class students focus on 1:30 packages to be considered for airing in the show. In the capstone course students continue to produce packages, but also are responsible for producing the half hour newscast with rotating assignments each week. Students will produce, anchor, report live from the newsroom and in the field and also work the production aspects including director, telemprompter, audio, character generator, floor manager, studio cameras and tape decks. The newscast can be seen on line live at 6pm Thursdays at the link below and also on Time Warner Cable Channel 15. Watch an episode here:



Dispatch 40, which refers to UT's 40 acres, is produced by students in the first required course for broadcast students in the School of Journalism. Students in J331G Audio Storytelling pitch their own enterprise stories and have one week to record all their interviews and fine-tune their reporting before digitally editing their podcasts. This class focuses on good broadcast writing, which is different than other types of journalism, developing voice and delivery and using sound to advance storytelling.

Some examples of those podcasts can be heard here

Photo Journalism

The School of Journalism historically has boasted one of the country’s finest photojournalism programs, and 10 of our alumni have won Pulitzer Prizes for photography. Our award-winning faculty‐Dennis Darling, Donna DeCesare and Eli Reed‐are great photojournalists who maintain the tradition of teaching visual story-telling for the digital age to a new generation.

View work by our photojournalism faculty

Dennis Darling | Donna DeCesare | Eli Reed

PhotoJournalism Faculty

Oral History Project

VOCES Oral History Project

Since 1999, the Voces Oral History Project has built an archive of over 900 videotaped interviews, stories, photographs and historic documents of U.S. Latinos and Latinas. Without its strong journalism foundation, it could not provide the robust website featuring heavily edited and fact-checked stories of each interview.

The national project was called the U.S. Latino and Latina WWII Oral History Project for the first 10 years of its existence, a reflection of its original mission.

In 2009, the project renamed itself “Voces” to better reflect an expanded focus that would include subjects from the Korean and Vietnam War eras.

The project, created by journalism professor Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, had its objective set from Day One: to give voice to the millions of American Latinos who fought for their country, struggled to secure civil rights and made significant contributions to their communities, their states and the nation. Students enrolled in a class now called Oral History as Journalism have learned about the various war periods, about oral history techniques and ethics, and they write stories from interviews, which are then edited in side-by-side sessions with veteran journalists.

Besides being used in teaching, the project also has an ongoing interdisciplinary research agenda, working with established scholars, as well as graduate students. It has produced four books, with two more in the offing in the next year.

School of Journalism


We invite all Journalism alumni to submit reflections, we want to hear from you!

Memories from Alumni:

"...meeting Walter Cronkite when he came to a Daily Texan party in the early 70s" – Susie (Stoler) Andrews, BJ 1975, JD 1985

"I have always remembered Dr.Reddick's writing advice. He said:
'Don't get on your horse and ride off in all directions at once.' It was excellent advice, and it has served me well as an author and as an editor." – Betty Oliver, BJ 1973

"I do remember one morning getting a 6:30 a.m. call at my house from the president of the university because he wasn't pleased with our (Daily Texan) coverage for that day. I also remember staying up until 4 a.m. trying to get out a publication on election night." – Jeanne Acton-Shanks, BJ 1991

"Being able to learn so much alongside like minds was a blessing and a great joy. They say your college years go by too quickly, and looking back I can truly appreciate that sentiment." – Nick Schwartz, BS 2010

"When I got my first byline in the Texan" – Marilyn Marshall, BJ 1975

"filling out a card detailing long-term work goals required by Dr. Burd and, when meeting with him 30-some years later, discovering that he had filed all of them, and that my career ambitions had been mostly met. " – David Frink, BJ 1974

"I was Day Editor for the special edition of The Daily Texan that covered the assassination of President Kennedy and a credentialed member of the White House Press Corps when President Lyndon Johnson was in Texas. " – David Wilson, BJ 1966

"In the spring of 1970, the academic schedules at UT were replaced for several days by classes in life values as students demonstrated against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war. It was then I understood that journalists report history as it is made." – O'Lene Stone, BJ 1972


Submit Your Reflection   |   View All Alumni Reflections

History of the School of Journalism

  • 1913 - University of Texas President Sidney E. Mezes formally presented a resolution establishing a School of Journalism, naming Texas Lt. Gov. William H. Mayes as organizer and director. 1914 - Mayes, publisher of The Brownwood Bulletin, officially founded the new journalism school in 1914, 32 years after the cornerstone of UT's Main Building was laid. The school was housed in 'J Hall,' located where the West Mall Office Building now stands. 1925 - Gov. Jim Ferguson vetoed state appropriations for the School of Journalism, as part of an ongoing political battle with Mayes. College of Business Administration offered alternative journalism courses in 'T Hall,' off Speedway near Gregory Gym.
  • 1927 - A new Department of Journalism was created with renewed state appropriations. It was housed in 'B Hall,' which had been Brackenridge Hall men's dormitory. Journalism students shared their classes on the main floor with Texas Student Publications. 1933 - The department moved into the 'Old Engineering Building'. 1948 - The American Council on Education for Journalism accredited the department, making it again a School of Journalism
  • 1952 - The 'new Journalism Building' was built at the corner of Whitis Avenue and 24th street, which today is known as the 'Geography Building.' The Daily Texan offices and presses were in the basement. 1965 - The School of Communication was formed and the School of Journalism became a department once again. 1968 - Construction began on the three-building Communication complex at Guadalupe and 26th streets, now known as Dean Keeton street. One building was devoted to the academic center, another to the CMB radio and TV media studios and the third to Texas Student Publications--with The Daily Texan in the basement. 1979 - The School of Communication became the College of Communication.
  • 1982 - The Communication Complex was officially named the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center. 2000 - The journalism program officially became the School of Journalism. 2012 - The School of Communication moved into the Belo Center for New Media. 2013 - The Moody Foundation of Galveston awards the college a $50 million endowment and is renamed the Moody College of Communication


The University of Texas School of Journalism:
100 Years of Storytelling and Innovation


In 1911 a group of students formed the University Press Club and began lobbying University of Texas President Sidney E. Mezes to develop a journalism school. Mezes ran with the idea, hoping to capitalize on his connections with Texas journalists, and in 1913 he presented a resolution from the Texas Women's Press Association advocating a journalism school and requesting that William H. Mayes, the lieutenant governor of Texas and longtime editor and publisher of the Brownwood Bulletin, be named its organizer and director.

In 1914, 31 years after UT was founded, the School of Journalism was born. Mayes was named its first director and space was created in "J Hall" alongside the School of Institutional History. The old building, which sat where the West Mall Office Building now stands, was heated by coal-burning stoves and housed heavy, primitive printing machinery.

From those humble beginnings 100 years ago, the UT School of Journalism has grown into one of the nation's biggest and best, with more than 40 full- and part-time faculty, 850 undergraduate journalism majors, 35 Master's students and 69 Ph.D. candidates, housed in the state-of-the-art Belo Center for New Media. Nestled in the Moody College of Communication, the school offers cutting-edge opportunities for students, including sophisticated multimedia newsroom and classroom spaces and a transformed curriculum that emphasizes new media skills as well as critical thinking and ethical values.

But the modern, innovative school has evolved naturally from its simple origins. "It flowed from the idea, occurring around the country, that journalists needed to be professionalized," said Glenn Frankel, the school's director and G.B. Dealey Professor in Journalism. "The craft was changing from just anybody with access to a printing press, to actual standards of accuracy and fairness. There were things to learn and things to teach, and Texas helped lead the way. So the notion of a professional class of journalists, both to come up with the news of the day and to hold politicians and corporations accountable, flowed from there."

Journalism at its best has always been an unruly and rebellious craft, and it did not take long for William Mayes and the School of Journalism to become embroiled in political controversy. Between 1915 and 1917, tensions between Gov. James Ferguson and UT faculty rose steadily, until the governor demanded that Mayes and other faculty be dismissed. The university refused, prompting Ferguson to veto appropriations for almost the entire institution, which in turn sparked an impeachment movement in the Texas Legislature. In 1917 Ferguson was impeached and tendered his resignation, but in 1925 he staged a political comeback when his wife Miriam "Ma" Ferguson was elected the second woman governor in the United States.

Shortly thereafter, the conflicts between UT and the governor's mansion resumed with gusto. The new governor vetoed appropriations for the School of Journalism, causing the College of Business Administration to step in and offer alternative journalism courses. Journalism was moved to a new building, "T Hall," off Speedway near Gregory Gym. It wasn't until 1927 that a Department of Journalism was reauthorized – after Ma Ferguson left office. Mayes stepped down as director the same year, and Paul J. Thompson filled the position. He served as chairman of the department until 1958.

The Department of Journalism would move twice more in the next six years. In 1927 it moved into a ramshackle "B Hall," formerly a boy's dormitory named Brackenridge Hall, where journalism students shared space with Texas Student Publications and the Publicity Office. Claudia Alta Taylor, known from early child as "Lady Bird," worked there as a features writer for The Daily Texan; in her oral history written by Michael Gillette, she called B Hall "a great big old gothic, bat-ridden building, full of legends, much remembered by all the old news hands around the state." After earning a history degree in 1933 with a minor in philosophy, Johnson returned for a year to seek a journalism degree. She had fond memories of classes with DeWitt Reddick, a journalism professor hired in 1927 who spent more than four decades on the faculty, and she enjoyed exploring media and newspapers.

"I met a lot of newspaper people. I found that they were plugged in to the happenings of the day," she told Gillette. "They met the actors of the day. They really saw what was going on, and I liked the opportunities. I just thought I would like to sample that."

Lady Bird Taylor graduated with a journalism degree in 1934, the same year she met and married Lyndon Baines Johnson. The pair purchased a radio and television station, KTBC, and Mrs. Johnson would go on to help her ambitious husband win seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, serve as first lady of the United States, and take an active role in wildflower and environmental preservation.

Other noteworthy alumni helped shape the School of Journalism in its formative years. In 1928 Olin E. Hinkle became an instructor of speech after completing a business administration degree; he went on to train legions of debaters. Granville Price, the editor of the Daily Texan in 1927 and city editor of the New York Herald-Tribune, became an adjunct professor of journalism in 1933. The same year, the journalism department moved into a crowded Old Engineering Building alongside the Departments of Applied Mathematics, Germanic Languages and Geology.

"We were in a very old building that was near the tower, and if you were the Daily Texan editor and were working downstairs, you could climb out the window if someone was coming that you didn't want to see," said Dick Elam, a journalism graduate and Daily Texan editor in 1949 and 1950. Elam, who worked on some of the first articles on illegal immigration in Texas, said award-winning enterprise reporting was common at the Texan. He went on to become an assistant professor and associate dean. "I'd come in on Saturday nights and sit on the rim writing headlines, which I knew how to do."

Walter Cronkite also arrived at UT in 1933. After flirting briefly with a mining engineering degree, Cronkite became a writer for the Texan while juggling coursework and a packed social life. After getting start writing calendar entries, Cronkite scored a coup of an interview with author Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas at the Driskill Hotel. "Miss Stein Not Out For Show, But Knows What She Knows" was the highlight of Cronkite's early career in journalism, according to Douglas Brinkley's Cronkite biography. The young reporter used clips from the Texan to leverage freelance work with the Houston Press, and his career took off. Cronkite left school in 1935, unable to reconcile the combination of expensive tuition, his penchant for partying and his growing attraction to professional journalism. While he went on to a glorious career as a war correspondent and legendary television news anchorman, Cronkite said he regretted leaving school early, and gave back to UT in a number of ways, including narrating commercials for the university.

"Cronkite also didn't have the patience to sit still in UT classes. He preferred toiling in the newspaper field full time, but later in life he told his daughter Kathy that he was embarrassed because he hadn't earned a degree at UT," Brinkley wrote. "Kathy pointed out that without a college diploma he had nevertheless become the best TV broadcaster in American history. ‘Yes,' Cronkite shot back, ‘but if I had gotten a formal education, I could have been the Kaiser!'"

Mary Elizabeth Sutherland enrolled in 1938 and took every journalism course she could with her future husband Les Carpenter, enjoying in particular those taught by Reddick. She became the first woman elected as a Vice President for the Students' Association.

"Although Liz was fascinated by politics on any level, her main love was journalism," wrote Betty Wilke Cox in her biography Liz Carpenter: Girl from Salado. "She believed that as a journalist she could go anywhere, see everything, ask anybody any questions. ‘A press card,' Dr. Reddick told her, ‘is your passport to the world.'"

Liz and Les enjoyed reading the Austin Sunday American at a favorite restaurant on the Drag, and over burgers and root beers one Sunday they read about coach Dana X. Bible and the Longhorns football team demolishing the Oregon Ducks 71-7 the day before. It was December 7, 1941 – just minutes before news of the Pearl Harbor attacks reached Austin on the radio. She graduated in 1942 with a journalism degree and moved to Washington, D.C., beginning a career as a political reporter and later as a spokeswoman for Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson.

Dolph Briscoe, who graduated a year after Carpenter, split his time between the Cactus yearbook, where he was editor, earning a degree in business administration and courting a classmate named Betty Jane Slaughter, whom he married in 1942. After graduating in 1943, he served in the United States Army in the Pacific, returning to Texas to serve as a state representative in 1948 and the 41st governor in 1973. He and Betty Jane were married for 58 years, until her death in 2000.

PART II - Post-WWII to the turn of the Century

PART III - Digital Journalism for a Digital Era



Journalism Centennial Donors

  • A.H. Belo Corporation
  • John Barnhill
  • Jane Chesnutt
  • Moroney Family Foundation
  • Mark Morrison
  • Helen Vollmer

Journalism Centennial Steering Committee

  • John Barnhill, Class of ’59. Retired executive vice president of Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, former member of the State Board of Regents.
  • Christy Carpenter, Former CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. Her mother, Liz Carpenter, was Class of ’42, and her father, Les Carpenter, was also a J-School alum.
  • Jane Chesnutt, Class of ’73. Civic leader and former editor-in-chief of Women’s Day.
  • Jeff Cohen, Class of ’76. Executive vice president and executive editor of the Houston Chronicle’s editorial and opinion pages.
  • Beth Frerking, Class of ’80. Editor in Chief, The National Law Journal and Legal Times.
  • Karen Elliott House, Class of ’70. Author, journalist and former publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
  • Alejandro Junco de la Vega, Class of ’69. President and Director General of the Grupo Reforma newspaper group in Mexico.
  • Gene Menez, Class of ’95. Editor at Austin HOME, former associate editor for Sports Illustrated.
  • Jim Moroney. Chairman, President and CEO of A. H. Belo Corporation, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Mark Morrison, Class of ’70. Chair of the Headliners Foundation Board of Governors and visiting lecturer at the J School. Retired managing editor of BusinessWeek.
  • Griff Singer, Class of ’56. Director of the Dow Jones News Fund’s Editing Excellence Center at UT; UT journalism professor for 34 years.
  • Krissah Thompson, Class of 2001. Journalism and Plan II Major. Style writer for The Washington Post, covering Michelle Obama and other topics.
  • Karen Tumulty, Class of ’77. National political correspondent for The Washington Post.
  • Helen Vollmer, Class of ’76. Master of Arts from RTF. President of Edelman Southwest in Houston.