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September 6, 2013

Gaylord College celebrates 100 years of excellence

NORMAN — Today and Saturday, the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication will celebrate 100 years of excellence in journalism.

With more than 200 alumni expected to attend the celebration, the journalism college will honor and acknowledge the important work of its alumni. Gaylord College graduates have influenced the field of journalism by editing leading newspapers, winning Pulitzer Prizes and being front-runners in the Oklahoma newspaper industry.

Initially, the University of Oklahoma faced opposition from publishers and editors of Oklahoma newspapers in the development of a separate school of journalism, as many believed journalism skills could only be acquired in the field.

However, with the support and effort of professor Theodore Hampton Brewer and President Stratton Brooks, the journalism college came to fruition in 1913, and the journalism program slowly overcame opposition by offering coursework that required 10 weeks of on-the-job training. T.H. Brewer and H.H. Herbert served as the school’s first two professors.

From simple beginnings of a three-classroom, one-story building, the college of journalism has produced more than 11,000 graduates in 100 years. Today, students keep up with the rapidly changing communication industry in Gaylord Hall, a facility made possible by the donation of the Edward L. Gaylord family in 2000. There, students have the opportunity to learn from elite educators and are on the path to becoming future alumni themselves.

Currently, the college offers five majors within three fields of study. Continuing the importance of on-the-job training established by Brewer and Herbert, the college still helps students obtain internships and work experience that is hands-on.

Alumni visiting campus this weekend will have the chance to remember the opportunities Gaylord College afforded them as well as the good times they shared with fellow journalism students.

“We have a robust set of events for returning alumni,” Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote said. “President Boren will kick off things, and we’ll have everything from a faculty panel to a reception.”

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