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Letter from the Director

In this issue of the Murphy Reporter, we've invited emeritus professor Phil Tichenor to reflect on the distinguished career and lasting legacy of professor Mitchell V. Charnley -- one of the nation's true pioneers in journalism education.


Photo by Tom Foley

And we've excerpted a candid remembrance of Mitch from a newly published book, "Beyond the Sports Huddle: Mona on Minnesota" by Dave Mona, Twin Cities media legend in his own right, SJMC alumnus and recent recipient of the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award. I have no doubt that we could easily fill an issue with colorful accounts of Mitch Charnley's unwavering high standards and gifts as a teacher, scholar
and mentor.

Thanks to generous alumni gifts spanning roughly two decades, amplified by handsome investment growth through the University of Minnesota Foundation, we're very close to fully funding a permanent $1 million endowment commemorating Professor Charnley's exceptional academic career at the University of Minnesota (1934-68). During the coming year, in anticipation of reaching the endowment target, we'll conduct a national search for a leading faculty member to hold the Mitchell V. Charnley Alumni Professorship in Journalism. We'll seek a new senior colleague who shares Mitch Charnley's passion for high journalistic standards in news reporting, writing and editing; a scholar of national distinction; a gifted teacher with a demonstrated commitment to students; and a university citizen deeply committed to public and professional outreach.

This is our first endowed professorship named to honor a faculty member and our first major endowment established with literally hundreds of gifts from alumni ranging from $5 to more than $100,000. Both firsts make this achievement all the more special--a testament to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni.

I'm also pleased to announce that we've established a new endowment honoring professor Hazel Dicken-Garcia. As reported in this issue, Hazel retired at the end of the 2007-08 academic year, after nearly 30 years of outstanding service. Her contributions to both graduate and undergraduate education in our field are nothing short of extraordinary--her leadership in the area of journalism history and her legacy in mentoring many of the nation's leading scholars are unmatched. In recognition of her many achievements, the SJMC has established a new permanent endowment for a graduate fellowship in her name and has pledged to match alumni gifts to the fund dollar for dollar during the coming year. In addition, alumni contributions and the SJMC matching contributions will qualify for a second matching program established by the University of Minnesota's Graduate School. In effect, every dollar contributed by alumni will leverage the equivalent of three additional dollars for the permanent endowment.

I believe you'll enjoy reading about the sampling of impressive careers of our alumni featured in this issue--from Tim Larson's meteoric rise to the top post at Minnesota-based Jostens Inc. to Chikuen Lau's distinguished leadership as a journalist and media executive in Hong Kong.

We want to hear from you, as well. It doesn't matter if you've been out of school for three months or 50 years. I hope you'll accept our invitation to share your remembrances of Murphy Hall and tell us about your achievements, honors and career path.

As always, thank you for your continued support of and interest in the SJMC.

- Albert R. Tims, Director