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Marie Dillon, a prize-winning editorial writer at the Chicago Tribune, is this year's inductee to the Cronkite School Alumni Hall of Fame at Arizona State University.
Dillon, a 1982 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in editorial writing. She and her colleagues earned the honors in 2009 and 2010 for their calls for ethics reform against a culture of corruption in the Illinois state government.
With more than 30 years as a reporter and editor, Dillon writes on a variety of topics for the Chicago Tribune. In addition to government corruption, her editorials focus on mass transit, immigration, gender and Latin America.
“As someone who graduated from ASU just in time to escape filing stories on a typewriter, I am in awe of today's Cronkite School,” Dillon said. “Being named to the Hall of Fame is a highlight of my career and my life. I’m really proud of my alma mater, and it means a lot to think it is proud of me, too.”
A native of Mesa, Ariz., Dillon’s career path includes stops at the Mesa Tribune, the Dayton Daily News, The Palm Beach Post, The Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. In 1999, she moved to Chicago and has held several positions at the Chicago Tribune, including regional editor and deputy metro editor, before joining the editorial board in 2006.
Besides her editorials on government corruption, she has written Chicago Tribune opinions on a controversial report clearing an Illinois university president of plagiarism charges; librarians’ refusal to purchase an award-winning children’s book; and Chicago City Council’s amusing deliberations on rules for taking dogs to outdoor cafes.
She has won a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award with two colleagues as well as an American Society of News Editors Distinguished Writer award for editorial writing.
“Marie Dillon exemplifies the very best of the Cronkite School,” said Dean Christopher Callahan. “Her editorials and accomplishments set excellent examples for our students to follow as they pursue careers in journalism. We are honored to induct her into our school’s Hall of Fame.”
Dillon is the 45th inductee into the Cronkite Hall of Fame, joining Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times reporter Julie Cart, CNN International’s Becky Anderson and Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall, among others.