We see the proof everywhere — in our growing enrollment, in the journalism awards won by our students and faculty and in the people and organizations eager to partner with us. There is a renewed public interest in journalism, and Merrill College is poised to train the next generation.
It was a busy year here, and the pace didn’t slow over the summer.
Just as classes wound down in May, a Capital News Service project won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, among the most prestigious prizes in college journalism. Days later, we announced a comprehensive rewriting of our undergraduate curriculum that will give students more flexibility to experiment and specialize.
And just weeks ago, we learned Merrill College was selected as one of two schools to host the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, funded by $3 million from the Scripps Howard Foundation.
We’ve had much to celebrate — but tragedy also struck our community.
Five Capital Gazette employees — Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters — were killed when a gunman attacked their newsroom in June. Fischman (‘79) and McNamara (‘83) were alumni; Hiaasen was an adjunct lecturer here.
Several of our faculty and staff members have spent the summer assisting the Capital Gazette newsroom, and — among other actions — we plan to name a classroom in Knight Hall in memory of the dedicated community journalists who lost their lives.
Democracy depends on the work such journalists do, and the kind of work we do here to prepare our students to enter an increasingly important profession.