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On the 10th anniversary of a helicopter crash that took the lives of four Phoenix news professionals, the parents of one of the victims announced the establishment of a photojournalism endowment at Arizona State University to honor their late son.
Jim Cox, a 1993 alumnus of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was a photojournalist for 3TV/KTVK when two TV news helicopters collided over Steele Indian School Park on July 27, 2007, while following a police pursuit. Cox and three others were killed.
“This will ensure that his name will last in perpetuity,” said Alan Cox, Jim’s father and president of the James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photojournalists. Cox spoke after a memorial service held at Steele Indian School Park at 12:45 p.m. Thursday – the exact time and location of the fatal accident. “We’re very happy to do something for a school he so dearly loved.”
Alan Cox and his wife, Barbara, created the James Alan Cox Foundation shortly after their son’s death. The foundation has awarded 97 scholarships over the past 10 years, including many to Cronkite students, to help aspiring photojournalists follow a similar career path as their son.
With the establishment of the endowment, the Cox family will continue to help students studying photojournalism at the Cronkite School. In addition to providing scholarships, funds from the endowment will go toward the Cronkite School’s photojournalism program, including support for equipment purchases.
“This generous gift from Alan and Barbara will keep Jim’s spirit alive at his school while helping the next generation of great photojournalists follow their dreams,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan.
The Cronkite School funds more than 100 scholarships each year. The majority of the scholarship funds come from the generous donations of Cronkite alumni and family, media companies and other benefactors who want to support Cronkite students and the future of journalism.