Timeline of the Cronkite School

The Cronkite School moves to downtown Phoenix.The Cronkite School moves to downtown Phoenix. Photo by Bill Timmerman

2012 - The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation awards the Cronkite School grants totaling $8.21 million - the school's largest gift ever - to expand the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and create a second endowed chair in business journalism. The first large-scale alumni celebration launches with Cronkite Day. Cronkite students win their third Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in four years. The school expands its sports journalism programs and hosts the Phoenix Suns studio show for Fox Sports Arizona. Cronkite hosts first Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute for professors nationwide. School wins ASU's first Institutional Inclusion Award for diversity efforts.

2011 - The Knight Foundation and Carnegie Corporation extend News21 for the next 10 years, based exclusively at the Cronkite School. Cronkite News Service opens a news bureau in Washington. The school welcomes its first Ph.D. class. Dean Christopher Callahan is named vice provost of ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Cronkite launches a program to cover spring training for out-of-town news organizations. The school dedicates its sixth-floor broadcast center in honor of the late Stanley and Erika Tobin. For the sixth consecutive year, Cronkite students finish first in the SPJ Mark of Excellence national awards competition.

2010 - The Cronkite School becomes home to the State Department’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program for international journalists. The journalism school launches Cronkite Global Initiatives to operate its expanding international programs. Dean Christopher Callahan is named the Scripps Howard Journalism Administrator of the Year. Cronkite Award recipient Diane Sawyer anchors ABC's "World News" two nights from the Cronkite Building. Students finish first nationally in the SPJ Mark of Excellence awards for a record fifth consecutive year. Cronkite is one of three U.S. university buildings to be recognized with an International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum.

2009 - Leonard Downie Jr., the longtime executive editor of The Washington Post who led his newspaper to more Pulitzer Prizes than any editor in American journalism history, joins the faculty. “NBC Nightly News” broadcasts from the roof of the school when Brian Williams arrives to receive the Cronkite Award. The journalism school becomes home to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the National Center on Disability & Journalism. The New York Times features the Cronkite School and its focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and the digital future in a major story about journalism education. Cronkite students finish first nationally in both SPJ and the prestigious Hearst journalism awards, known as the Pulitzer Prizes of college journalism, and win their first Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Walter Cronkite dies at age 92.

2008 - The Cronkite School moves into a new 223,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art journalism education complex in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the centerpiece of the new ASU downtown campus. The Carnegie Corporation and the Knight Foundation announce that the Cronkite School is the new national headquarters of News21, a $7.5 million experimental digital media program with 12 of the nation’s leading universities. Former Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Rick Rodriguez joins the faculty as the first Carnegie Professor of Journalism. Former CNN anchor Aaron Brown joins the faculty as the first Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism. A $5.3 million gift from the Reynolds Foundation expands the work of the Reynolds Center and creates a new endowed chair and specializations in business journalism. Eight, Arizona’s public television station, begins airing Cronkite NewsWatch, giving it the biggest reach of any university newscast in the world.

2007 - Walter Cronkite breaks ground in downtown Phoenix for the new six-story building that will house the Cronkite School and Eight. The school launches Cronkite News Service, an intensive professional program in which advanced journalism students provide newspaper, TV and multimedia stories daily to professional news outlets across the state. Cronkite students finish first place nationally in the Hearst and SPJ awards. The Knight Foundation gives a major grant to create the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. The school names digital media guru Dan Gillmor as Knight Center director and the first Kauffman Professor.

 Walter Cronkite breaks ground for the new building. Walter Cronkite breaks ground for the new building.

2006 - Six new full-time faculty members join the Cronkite School, the largest infusion of teaching talent in the school’s history. New professors include former Minneapolis Star Tribune Executive Editor Tim McGuire as the Frank Russell Chair. Phoenix voters overwhelmingly pass a bond issue that paves the way for a new $71 million building for the Cronkite School and KAET in downtown Phoenix. Cronkite receives its largest gift to date - $3.5 million - to bring the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism to ASU. The school launches the New Media Innovation Lab for cutting-edge research and development and names BET executive Retha Hill as its first director. Students finish first nationally in SPJ Mark of Excellence awards and second overall in the Hearst competition.

2005 - The school becomes an independent unit at ASU. Christopher Callahan of the University of Maryland joins the school as the founding dean. Cronkite students finish second nationally in the Hearst competition and first in the broadcast division.

2004 - ASU President Michael Crow announces that the Cronkite School will become an independent unit and be an integral part of the newly planned campus in downtown Phoenix.

2003 - Knight Chair Steve Doig unveils his first Knight Foundation analysis of diversity at daily newspapers.

2002 - The school finishes in the Top 10 of the Hearst awards, starting a string of Top 10 finishes that remains unbroken.

2001 - Cronkite faculty vote to change the school’s name from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

2000 - The Arizona Republic gives ASU $1 million to create the Frank Russell Chair in the Business of Journalism in honor of the former chairman of Central Newspapers Inc.

1999 - Cronkite School Director Douglas Anderson becomes dean of the College of Communications at Penn State University.

1998 - The school launches an annual two-week Summer High School Broadcasting Institute sponsored by the Arizona Broadcasters Association.

1996 - The school claims the overall Hearst national championship for the second time in three years. SPJ names the school’s TV newscast the best college-produced weekly show in the country. Award-winning investigative editor Steve Doig of the Miami Herald becomes the school’s first Knight Chair in Computer-Assisted Reporting. The Freedom Forum names Director Douglas Anderson the Journalism Administrator of the Year.

1995 - Knight Foundation gives the school its largest gift to date - $1.5 million - to endow a chair in computer-assisted reporting. The school imposes selective admission criteria for majors and launches a minor in mass media.

1994 - The school captures its first overall national championship in the Hearst awards. Professor Sharon Bramlett-Solomon receives the Barry Bingham Jr. Fellowship for her work with journalism students of color.

1993 - The Cronkite School establishes a Hall of Fame to honor outstanding graduates. ABC sports commentator Al Michaels and ABC news correspondent Bill Redeker are the charter inductees.

1992 - A visiting professionals program is started with a $200,000 grant from the William R. Hearst Foundation.

1991 - The school takes first place in the Hearst broadcast division for the first time.

1990 - Cronkite finishes first in the Hearst writing division for the first time.

1989 - The school’s student-produced weekly TV newscast begins.

1988 - The school launches an annual two-week Summer High School Journalism Institute sponsored by The Arizona Republic.

1984 - The Department of Journalism and Telecommunication is elevated from department to school status and named the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication in honor of the legendary CBS News anchor. The first Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Journalism are presented to CBS founder William Paley and longtime CBS President Frank Stanton.

1983 - The Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees is created.

1982 - KASR, the campus radio station operated by the department, is launched.

1981 - The department offers master’s degrees for the first time. Walter Cronkite steps down from the CBS anchor chair after 19 years.

1979 - The Department of Mass Communication is renamed the Department of Journalism and Telecommunication and leaves the College of Liberal Arts to join the newly formed College of Public Programs.

1973 - The Department of Mass Communication earns national accreditation. The Stauffer Communication Arts Building, named in honor of former Arizona Republic owner Charles A. Stauffer, opens as the department’s new home.

1962 - Walter Cronkite becomes anchor of the CBS Evening News.

1957 - ASU establishes a Department of Mass Communication.

1954 - Radio and television courses are added to the journalism curriculum.

1950 - Walter Cronkite joins CBS News.

1949 - The Division of Journalism is established within the English Department.

1931 - ASU offers its first journalism courses.