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The journalism program at Arizona State University was named in honor of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite in 1984.
The relationship started when Tom Chauncey, the longtime owner of the CBS affiliate in Phoenix and a leading supporter of journalism education at ASU, contacted his old friend in an effort to help the program. An endowment on behalf of the program was soon established in Cronkite’s name, and the school was named in honor of the former CBS anchor.
Attaching the name of the nation’s most prominent and respected journalist to ASU’s program gave the school an immediate boost and national recognition.
But that was just the beginning. Cronkite became intimately involved with ASU, advising the journalism school’s leadership, meeting with students and faculty, and traveling to Arizona each year to personally give the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism to a media leader.
Since Cronkite's death on July 17, 2009, the school has renewed its commitment to carrying on his ideals and values.
“The values that Mr. Cronkite embodies – excellence, integrity, accuracy, fairness, objectivity – we try to instill in our students each and every day,” said Cronkite School Founding Dean Christopher Callahan. “There is no better role model for our faculty or our students. There’s no doubt that our close affiliation with Walter Cronkite has helped the school become a national journalism powerhouse over the past 20 years, and will continue to help us as we grow into the best professional journalism program in the nation.”