Marquette Wire

MU student media celebrates 100 years

Almuni+and+students+gathered+over+the+weekend+to+celebrate+100+years+of+student+media.
Almuni and students gathered over the weekend to celebrate 100 years of student media.

Almuni and students gathered over the weekend to celebrate 100 years of student media.

Almuni and students gathered over the weekend to celebrate 100 years of student media.

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Laura and David Marran, from the classes of ’86 and ’87 respectively, first met in the basement of Johnston Hall when they were both hired as assistant editors for the Marquette Tribune in 1984. This past weekend, they returned to the basement where they first met for the centennial celebration of the Tribune and Marquette student media.

When asked about their favorite memories from working for the Tribune, they both immediately answered, “meeting each other.”

The Marrans’ story is just one example of the lasting impact student media has had on the lives of those who worked in it. And while not everyone who worked for student media still works in the areas they did while at Marquette, the memories and connections remain.

“Our alumni guests kept telling us how much the student media experience meant to them and they were glad to see that the current generation of students is getting the same opportunities,” Erik Ugland, chairman of the Student Media Board, said.

Many said working for student media affected their careers.

“Many of our guests told me that their student media experience was the most influential and formative part of their time here at Marquette,” Ugland said. “The fact that so many people came back, even though this was largely a word-of-mouth event, shows how vital student media was to their college experience.”

About 200 people participated in the open house in Johnston Hall Friday night, and over 150 participated in the formal dinner at the Wisconsin Club Saturday night.

“Not all universities would get turnout like this if they decided to host a reunion,” Herbert Lowe, journalism professor said. 

The Tribune put out its first paper Sept. 30, 1916, and continues to do so on a weekly basis. From the time the Tribune was introduced, other forms of student media have joined along the way. The lasting effects of working in student media were evident to current students who attended the weekend’s events, as hundreds of alums gathered to share their stories, advice, and if the students were lucky, their business cards.

William “Bill” Burleigh from the Class of 1975, shared his excitement that student media is still thriving on campus today. “I had the privilege of meeting the new provost, and I asked him, ‘Is the Tribune giving you fits?’ and he told me you were afflicting the comfortable, so I was reassured the tradition was alive and well,” he said.

Burleigh went on from Marquette to work as the CEO of the E.W. Scripps Company. In his time there, the Scripps Howard Foundation endowed $1 million to establish the William R. Burleigh and E.W. Scripps Professorship at Marquette and the William R. Burleigh Media Ethics Program.

Burleigh was delighted that the Tribune traditions are still carried on. The feeling was shared by many alumni who were concerned a decrease in newspapers across the country would deter students from studying journalism.

Alums ranged broadly in ages and professions, from the times before student media was in Johnston Hall, to when the basketball team won the national championship, to when Marquette’s teams were renamed the Golden Eagles.

John Frank, editor of the Marquette Tribune in 1975, said his favorite memory was when George Reedy, former press secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed on as dean of the College of Communication. “He would bring in the coolest speakers from everywhere, and that got a lot of people excited to be in journalism,” Frank said.

Alumni included those that worked for the Tribune, the Journal, MUTV, Marquette Radio and staff of the old yearbook, the Hilltop.

Today, the Tribune, the Journal, MUTV and MUR have combined to make the Marquette Wire, a central multimedia news outlet. There was concern among alums this merger would break traditions in their respective areas of student media. Many said they were delighted to see this was not the case, and their traditions were carrying on with current students.

Steve Millunzi, a creative director for 20th Century Fox, said Saturday at the dinner, “I’m glad to see all the branches still have their own fun.”

Kimo Ah Yun, dean of the College of Communication, said since he has been at Marquette, the convergence of student media into the Wire has gone smoothly, and he is proud of all the students.

Ah Yun said he has the best job in the world and that student media has been wonderful to work with. Au Yun’s mantra is “students first,” and said he is committed to providing the opportunities and resources students need. He reassured the crowd, “Student media isn’t going anywhere.”

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