COLLEGE PARK (6/27/19) — Capital Gazette’s parent company donated $25,000 to the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism Thursday, recognizing the college’s assistance in the aftermath of last summer’s deadly shooting in the newspaper’s Annapolis newsroom.

Tribune Publishing chairman David Dreier and Baltimore Sun Media publisher and editor in chief Trif Alatzas — a member of the college’s Board of Visitors — made the gift on the day before the attack’s one-year anniversary.

Merrill College alumni Gerald Fischman ‘79 and John McNamara ‘83, adjunct faculty member Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were killed in the shooting. Several others were injured.

“This is for everything you’ve already done,” Dreier told Merrill College faculty and staff during a visit to John S. and James L. Knight Hall. “We can’t thank you enough.”

Hours after the June 28, 2018 shooting, Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish offered the college’s Capital News Service bureau in Annapolis as a temporary workspace for Capital Gazette staff. 

“Three days later, our newsroom was back at work in the community they serve thanks to the generosity of the University of Maryland,” Dreier and Alatzas wrote in a letter explaining the donation.

CNS Annapolis Director Karen Denny immediately volunteered to get the staff settled and quickly became the newsroom’s unofficial chief of staff — forming a special relationship with Capital Gazette’s journalists.

“Capital News Service Annapolis Bureau Director Karen Denny opened her doors and welcomed our staff each and every day during the past year,” the letter said. “She has played a large role in helping our staff move forward.”

Capital News Service Annapolis Director Karen Denny (left) chats with Tribune Publishing chairman David Dreier after Tribune and Baltimore Sun Media announce a $25,000 donation to the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Capital Gazette staff moved into a new, permanent newsroom this month. The arrangement with CNS was made public for the first time in a series of vignettes published last week.

Dreier and Alatzas thanked Dalglish, Merrill College Board of Visitors chair Cathy Merrill Williams  — whose father, Philip Merrill, was Capital Gazette’s longtime owner — and the university community “for providing us the shelter we needed to keep practicing our journalism.”

Merrill College also dedicated the Capital Gazette Memorial Seminar Room in Knight Hall in December and made the first awards in memory of Fischman, McNamara and Hiaasen in May.

Dalglish said Merrill College faculty, staff and students were grateful for the opportunity to help under terrible circumstances.

“The last year has been horrible,” she said. “But it’s been a privilege and an honor.”

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles