Alumni of the School of Journalism gathered in Don Anderson Hall on the Friday of Homecoming Weekend 2012, to reminisce about time spent at the J-school and learn more about what’s happening now.
Building tours, conversation, and examples of student achievement inspired memories and admiration among the visiting alumni. Current students and staff showed off the state-of-the-art facility.
Clarence “Mack” McConnell, class of 1974, admired the computer labs available to students and remembered the dawning of the computer age at the Ravalli Republic, where he was the editor
“We’d type out the stories and they would come out column-width on these little strips of paper,” said McConnell, remembering the trick fondly. “We could just paste ‘em up.”
Raymond Dominick, class of 1966, reminisced about the horseshoe table that now resides in a seminar room on Anderson Hall’s fourth floor.
“There’s a table that no senior wanted to sit down at, because Blumberg would sit at that end and ask you anything about anything,” Dominick said, referring to Nathaniel Blumberg, Dean of the school from 1956 to 1968, and professor until 1978. “It was legit to say, ‘I don’t know the answer, but I’ll have it at the next class.’ If you did not have the answer at the next class, you were immediately on probation.”
It was not only illustrious former faculty such as Nathaniel Blumberg who inspired strong memories among alums, however.
Alanya Cherkas, Class of 2012, made room in her packed day at the Montana Radio Company to stop by the alumni reception. Cherkas works on-air and online, filling the ESPN cell phone app with local sports information. Cherkas credits the J-school for helping her learn the skills to succeed in her new job. “I owe a lot to Denise [Dowling] and other faculty here, definitely,” said Cherkas. Because the J-school required her to take classes outside her main area of interest, Cherkas feels she has skills no one else at her company has.
Other familiar faces inspired J-school memories, as well.
Paula Wilmot, ’67, recognized her classmate Nils Rosdahl without a moment’s hesitation. Both perused the bound issues of the student newspaper, The Kaimin. Wilmot is retired from the Great Falls Tribune, where she worked from 1969 to 2007. Rosdahl worked at The Missoulian while still at UM, took a job with the Tribune but was soon called to serve in Vietnam. Rosdahl was a long time journalism professor at North Idaho College.
The class of 1957 had a special gathering to honor the 55 years since graduation.
Joan Hoff searched the Kaimin archives for a feature article she had written about author William Faulkner’s visit to campus.
Fingering the newsprint, Hoff noted how she still prefers to read a hard copy of a newspaper. Hoff finds she reads the paper in much more depth compared to an on-line version. For the past 30 years she has been teaching contemporary US and foreign policy, most recently at Montana State University.
The School of Journalism is looking forward to celebrating its centennial in 2014-15. We hope you’ll contact classmates and consider coming “home” during that year. We’ve launched a planning committee and intend to celebrate all year long with special guest speakers, events and parties. Stay tuned for more on that and thanks for stopping by during Homecoming 2012.