$2 million grant official for college

Amber Gallihar

The $2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is now official.

The grant will fund the search for a new Knight chair in scholastic journalism as well as the new faculty member’s salary.

“The prestige of being awarded with one of only 20 Knight chairs in journalism indicates the importance of scholastic journalism from a Knight Foundation perspective and also indicates the regard in which Kent State’s program is held – as one of the best in the nation,” said James Gaudino, dean of the College of Communication and Information, in a press release.

The national search is scheduled to begin this fall and will be headed by Barb Hipsman, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for us,” said Candace Perkins Bowen, current scholastic media coordinator. “All the hard work is finally paying off.”

Hipsman said the search committee’s goal is to have the new chair approved by the time the school makes its move into Franklin Hall in fall 2007.

According to the release, the Knight chair will lead current national campaigns to increase scholastic journalism education and student media in America’s high schools, as well as help increase the use of news in classrooms and First Amendment and civic education.

The Knight chair in scholastic journalism was created with a new grant of $150,000, made in June, added to a previously donated endowment for a chair in English theory and composition, which has now been shifted to the school of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“The Knight Foundation’s whole idea is to take an already strong program and make it even better,” said school Director Jeff Fruit.

Since its creation in 1950, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has promoted journalism excellence worldwide, according to a press release. The foundation has invested more than $275 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression.

“Kent State is prepared to seize this opportunity to play an integral role in strengthening scholastic media programs across the nation and, in turn, groom the next generation of highly skilled journalists, editors and designers,” said President Lester Lefton in a press release.

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Architecture reporter Amber Gallihar at [email protected].