Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Mar. 20, 1998

Greenlee gift will give "school" status to journalism program

by Steve Sullivan

A $9 million gift from ISU alumni Robert and Diane Greenlee of Boulder, Colo., will create the Robert and Diane Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

The gift, announced March 11, is the largest ever to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Part of the ISU Foundation's Campaign Destiny, the gift challenges alumni and friends to raise an additional $9 million for the school by 2001.

ISU's journalism program will become the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, subject to State Board of Regents approval. The "school" designation denotes a professional program that has achieved a certain size and scope. It also helps universities attract endowed professorships and research funds, recruit top faculty and students and enhance curriculum.

"This important effort in allowing Iowa State to play a leading role in educating our nation's future journalists and professional communicators will not be achieved by our gift alone," the Greenlees said. "Were it not for a dedicated faculty committed to excellence, President Jischke's vision of the future, and support from the Board of Regents and others, this important effort would not be possible."

The Greenlees' business successes include ownership of several radio stations and launching of a dozen new companies, including the Rock Bottom Brewery chain.

Robert Greenlee is mayor of Boulder and recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives. Diane Greenlee is a member of the ISU Foundation Governors. Both Greenlees are members of the Journalism Advisory Board and Campaign Destiny leadership giving co-chairs.

Private fund raising will support a variety of initiatives in journalism and communication, including hiring new faculty in specialized fields, increased information technology resources, and further development of multicultural programs.

Other future initiatives for the school include more scholarship support for top students, programs to develop student leadership skills and give them interaction with business and education experts, and high-tech facilities for teaching and research.

"Named schools leverage the strengths of a university and combine that with their own focus to bring national and international recognition," said journalism chair John Eighmey. "Naming this school for the Greenlees signifies our leadership intent at the highest level."

Journalism education at ISU began in 1905. In 1989, the program was strengthened in response to a State Board of Regents consultant's report on duplication at the state universities. The traditional journalism and mass communication program was combined with tele-communicative arts to form a broad-based program spanning all media. Two years ago, the department was further expanded with the addition of ISU's program in communication studies.

Now, Iowa State's program is "the largest and most comprehensive in the state," said Eighmey, noting its 750 undergraduates, 45 master's degree students and 25 faculty. Nationally, only 12 of the 108 accredited journalism programs are named.

"Journalism is central to Iowa State's land-grant mission, by combining a practical and liberal education to produce graduates who are broadly educated," said President Martin Jischke. "Having a named school in this area carries a prestige that will enable Iowa State to become the best by recruiting the brightest students and the most skilled faculty."

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