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Timeline of the Cronkite School

The Cronkite School moves to downtown Phoenix.

2020 – Founding Dean Christopher Callahan steps down after 15 years to become the 26th president of University of the Pacific, California’s oldest university. Kristin Gilger, senior associate dean, takes over as interim dean while a search for a permanent dean is conducted. The school transforms its curriculum to be fully remote within 96 hours in response to COVID-19. Cronkite News publishes and airs news throughout the pandemic, with students and faculty working from home. A COVID town hall with Gov. Doug Ducey, hosted at Cronkite and simulcast by all Arizona TV stations, is watched live by 1 million Arizonans. Students finish first in the Broadcast Education Association competition for the 10th time in 11 years. The Arizona Broadcasters Association moves to Cronkite. The State Department announces the Hubert H. Humphrey Program for international journalists, in its 10th year at Cronkite, will continue for the next five years.

2019 – PBS NewsHour opens a West Coast bureau at Cronkite and premiers its West Coast edition. Students begin reporting on health needs of Latino and Native American communities across the Southwest under a new initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Scripps Howard Foundation-supported Howard Center for Investigative Journalism opens, and the school welcomes its first class of graduate students in investigative journalism. News21 captures its third straight Edward R. Murrow Award and the school wins its fourth Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Senior Associate Dean Kristin Gilger and Professor Julia Wallace conduct a national tour for their new book on women leaders in newsrooms. Indian Country Today moves to Cronkite. The school partners with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to train 100 public media leaders. Planning begins for an expanded news operation in the historic Herald Examiner building in Los Angeles. Founding Dean Christopher Callahan is named president of University of the Pacific.

2018 – The Cronkite School receives a $3 million grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation to establish the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, the largest single investment in investigative reporting at a university. Facebook funds News Co/Lab, a center to enhance news media literacy through experiments with news organizations around the nation. The school launches a new initiative to promote innovation in local TV news, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Arizona PBS and Cronkite News launch three-city Corporation for Public Broadcasting collaboration to cover sustainability issues with NPR and PBS stations in Los Angeles, Denver and Phoenix. Arizona Republic Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish becomes the first Sue Clark-Johnson Professor in Media Innovation and Leadership.

2017 – Cronkite News launches its Spanish-language division, Cronkite Noticias, and expands border coverage with additions of New York Times correspondent Fernanda Santos and 12News anchor Vanessa Ruiz. The school's seventh endowed faculty position is created, honoring the late Gannett executive Sue Clark-Johnson. Cronkite News special report on opioid addiction airs on every Arizona TV station and 100 radio stations, reaching more than 1 million Arizonans live and spurring immediate state action. Pulitzer winner Sarah Cohen of The New York Times becomes the Knight Chair in Data Journalism. Cronkite launches all-online master’s degree in business journalism and minor in digital audiences. National accreditors call Cronkite a “model for retention, transformative education and inclusion.” Cronkite wins national AEJMC Equity and Diversity Award.

2016 – CBS News anchor Scott Pelley wins 33rd Cronkite Award, broadcasts “CBS Evening News” from Downtown ASU Campus and features Cronkite School on the national newscast. ASU teams with CBS to celebrate Walter Cronkite’s 100th birthday at Newseum. Heroin documentary wins major professional honors, including the prestigious duPont Award. Cronkite launches first bilingual journalism classes. More than 100 Cronkite News students cover the historic 2016 elections from Phoenix, Washington, New York and the U.S.-Mexico border. Student teams are dispatched to cover national political conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Cronkite becomes first testbed for Google News Lab. Top media executive Julia Wallace and former Edelman CEO Mark Hass join Cronkite faculty.

2015 – More than 1 million Arizonans watch “Hooked,” a Cronkite documentary on heroin simulcast statewide on all 33 Arizona TV stations and 93 radio outlets in an unprecedented partnership with the broadcast industry. “Hooked” wins professional Emmy Awards, including the prestigious Governors’ Award. Business reporting bureau created with grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Cronkite student wins first-ever Student Edward R. Murrow Award. Knight Foundation executive Eric Newton joins Cronkite as the school’s first innovation chief. Students win professional Arizona Press Club award for the first time. Dual degree programs launched with Law, Engineering, Sustainability and other ASU colleges.

2014 – Arizona PBS becomes part of Cronkite, making it the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world. Cronkite News opens sports bureaus in Los Angeles and Phoenix. Professional programs are united under Cronkite News to create the second-largest daily news organization in Arizona. Cronkite partners with American Public Media and Knight Foundation to create a division of the Public Insight Network. Students finish first in the Broadcast Education Association awards for the fifth consecutive year and first again in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence competition. Longtime Director Doug Anderson returns to the Cronkite faculty after 15 years as dean at Penn State.

2013 – Dow Jones News Fund establishes digital training program at Cronkite. Carnegie-Knight News21 wins second consecutive EPPY Award and first NABJ Award for Excellence in digital journalism. The school launches a fully online degree in media studies. Cronkite gives the inaugural Katherine Schneider Journalism Award, the nation’s first journalism competition to recognize excellence in coverage of disability issues. Students finish first in the SPJ Mark of Excellence competition for seventh time in eight years and first in the BEA competition for the fourth straight year. Hall of Fame alumna and Pulitzer Prize winner Jacquee Petchel returns to ASU to direct News21.

2012 – The Reynolds Foundation awards Cronkite 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. Students win their third Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in four years and take first in the broadcast division of the Hearst Journalism Awards for the fifth time in nine years. The school partners with Fox Sports Arizona to host the Phoenix Suns studio shows. Cronkite hosts the first Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute for professors nationwide. The school wins ASU’s first Institutional Inclusion Award for diversity efforts. A Cronkite team covers the Summer Olympics in London.

2011 – Knight Foundation and Carnegie Corporation extend News21 for the next 10 years and base it exclusively at the Cronkite School. Cronkite News 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 Awards and finish in the top 10 of the Hearst Journalism Awards for a 10th straight year. National accreditors say Cronkite is “radically improved” and “a new school”.

2010 – The Cronkite School becomes home to the State Department’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program for international journalists. The 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 Tonight” two evenings from Cronkite. Students finish first nationally in the SPJ Mark of Excellence competition for a fifth consecutive year and win their second Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Arizona PBS begins airing Cronkite NewsWatch daily, giving it the biggest reach of any university-based newscast in the world.

2009 – Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., who led the newspaper to more Pulitzer Prizes than any editor in history, joins the faculty. “NBC Nightly News” broadcasts nationally from the roof of the school. Cronkite becomes home to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the National Center on Disability and Journalism. The New York Times features the 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 the Hearst and SPJ awards 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 campus. The Carnegie Corporation and Knight Foundation announce that Cronkite 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 Cronkite as the school’s first Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor. Former CNN anchor Aaron Brown joins the faculty as the inaugural 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.

2007 – Walter Cronkite breaks ground in downtown Phoenix for the new six-story building that will house the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS. 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. Knight Foundation gives a major grant to create the nation’s first program focused on digital journalism entrepreneurship, and the school tabs digital media pioneer Dan Gillmor to lead the effort. Cronkite partners with The Arizona Republic to create a student-staffed breaking-news program for azcentral.com.

2006 – Six new faculty members join Cronkite, the largest infusion of teaching talent in school history. New professors include former Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Tim McGuire as the Frank Russell Chair. Voters approve plans that pave the way for a new $71 million building for the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS 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 and later recruits BET executive Retha Hill to lead the digital research and development lab. Ethics and Excellence in Journalism establishes the Gaylord Visiting Professorship. Students finish first nationally in SPJ and second in Hearst.

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.

1987 – Professor Douglas A. Anderson is named director of the Cronkite School and begins the school’s rise to national prominence.

1984 – Under the leadership of ElDean Bennett, 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. ElDean Bennett is named department chair.

1973 – Under the leadership of Department Chairman Joe W. Milner, the Department of Mass Communication earns national accreditation and 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.