200 Schoonover Center gets historic journalism designation

Published: October 6, 2023 Author: Staff reports

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has named 1 Ohio University, 200 Schoonover Center in Athens, Ohio as a Historic Site in Journalism. The address is the location for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, one of the oldest journalism schools in the nation.

SPJ’s Historic Sites program honors the people and places that have played important roles in American journalistic history.

"The Scripps Journalism School, long recognized as a national leader in journalism education, has come a long way since the first journalism class was offered in 1923," wrote Professor Eddith Dashiell, director of the journalism school. "From its humble beginnings with a single journalism writing course to a fully accredited journalism program in the Scripps College of Communication, it has become a prominent school for aspiring journalists."

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. The first journalism class was offered in 1923 and in 1982, through a $1.5 million gift from the Scripps Howard Foundation, it was named after Edward Willis. Scripps, an American newspaper publisher.

Fully accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) for more than seven decades, the school has produced some of the most noteworthy journalists, academics and industry leaders in the past 100 years, including Pulitzer Prize winners Clarence Page, Wes Lowery, John Kaplan, Michel du Cille, Jane Kronholz and Donal Henahan.

The school also has a long history with SPJ. The Ohio University chapter of SPJ was founded in 1932 and accepted both student and professional members of Sigma Delta Chi at the time. By 1971, the chapter was the largest student chapter in the U.S. and developed a reputation for excellence within SPJ’s student membership.

The SPJ Central Ohio Pro Chapter endorsed the school’s nomination.

To distinguish it as a National Historic Site in Journalism, a bronze plaque will be placed at the journalism school’s suite of offices in 200 Schoonover Center, and a ceremony will be held later this year.

More details about the award, as well as maps of places named National Historic Sites in Journalism dating back to 1942 can be found on SPJ’s website.