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Scripps College marks $15M donation from Scripps Howard Foundation with day of festivities

Sep 12, 2006

Scripps College marks $15M donation from Scripps Howard Foundation with day of festivities

SEPT. 12, 2006—On a day set aside to celebrate a $15 million gift from the Scripps Howard Foundation to Ohio University's newly named Scripps College of Communication, students and other celebrants heard from communications industry leaders and the Marching 110 alike.

A capacity crowd in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium responded Tuesday with a standing ovation as a check for $1.5 million—the first installment of a gift to be made over the next 10 years—was presented to university officials.

The Scripps Howard Foundation's contribution, announced in April, will support a wide variety of College of Communication programs and initiatives involving diversity, technology, teaching fellowships, scholarships, internships, visiting professional residencies and more. It also will support a volunteer board that will advise the college on industry trends and innovations so that the internationally prominent Scripps College remains at the forefront of communication education.

Festivities included a keynote address by Kenneth Lowe, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Co., and remarks by Judith Clabes, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation; Ohio University President Roderick McDavis; Provost Kathy Krendl, former dean of the College of Communication; and journalism student Christopher Glaser. Gregory Shepherd, the current dean, served as master of ceremonies, and the Marching 110 streamed down the aisles of Memorial Auditorium to wrap up the afternoon party.

In illustrating the bond between Scripps the foundation, Scripps the company and Scripps the college, Krendl recalled her first encounter with Clabes more 10 years ago. Arms outstretched as she approached Krendl at the foundation's headquarters in Cincinnati , Clabes said, "Tell me what I can do today to help our students."

Earlier Tuesday, students jammed Baker University Center for workshops led by Scripps executives and Ohio University alumni on such topics as positioning for career success, leading a creative team, women in the media workplace and capitalizing on the Internet. In all, workshops on 19 topics were offered by editors of major newspapers, senior vice presidents, general managers and the director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, among others.

Melissa Evans, an Ohio University senior majoring in public relations, attended a session on covering race and ethnicity presented by the managing editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.

"I found it really helpful to hear from someone whose job so often revolves around race issues," Evans said. "Otis Sanford used his own experiences in the newsroom to personalize the subject and make me think about issues that I wouldn't have otherwise given much thought to until the situation came up."

Brian Conklin, a first-year student majoring in multimedia design, found inspiration in Lowe's workshop on how to create a media business.

"It was cool to hear from someone who has done as much as he has," Conklin said of Lowe, who joined Scripps in 1980 as general manager of the company's radio properties and in 2000 became its president and CEO. "If you have an idea, run with it. You'll find you can apply it somewhere."

Tuesday's celebration culminated with a free concert at Memorial Auditorium by Blaine Larsen, a 20-year-old singer who appeared courtesy of Scripps' Great American Country Network.

The $15 million gift is the largest ever given by the Scripps Howard Foundation and the largest cash contribution ever received by Ohio University . It brings the foundation's total support of the university to more than $20 million. The foundation funded its first scholarship at the university in 1966 and through 2005 had invested more than $5 million in College of Communication programs.

In recognition of the foundation's commitment, the Ohio University Board of Trustees this year renamed the college the Scripps College of Communication. The college's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism has carried the Scripps name since 1982.

Ohio University 's College of Communication , formed in 1968, today offers more than 40 programs through its five schools: the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, the J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems, and the schools of Visual Communication, Telecommunications and Communication Studies. In 2005-06, the college had more than 2,400 students and 85 full-time faculty.

The Scripps Howard Foundation, launched in 1962, works to advance the cause of a free press through support of excellence in journalism, journalism education and professional development. The largest corporate foundation in Greater Cincinnati, it is responsible for The E.W. Scripps Co. 's corporate contributions.

The E.W. Scripps Co. is a major media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, licensing and syndication. It owns Scripps Networks, which includes HGTV and the Food Network; newspapers in 18 markets; Scripps Howard News Service; 10 television stations; online search and comparison shopping services Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a worldwide syndication company that is home to Peanuts, Dilbert and some 150 other comics and features.

- Mary Alice Casey, editor, Ohio Today