School of Journalism Names Inaugural Hall of Fame Class
The 18 inductees include several Pulitzer Prize winners, four former school directors and NBC co-anchor Savannah Guthrie.

By Mike Chesnick, UA School of Journalism
Oct. 9, 2017


The Marshall Building, home of the UA School of Journalism
The Marshall Building, home of the UA School of Journalism

From Pulitzer Prize winners to trailblazing faculty, 14 individuals and two couples will be inducted into the inaugural University of Arizona School of Journalism Hall of Fame for their significant achievements and service to journalism and society.

The first class includes Doug MartinSherman MillerDon Carson and Jacqueline Sharkey, former directors of the school, which began in January 1951 as the Department of Journalism.

Other inductees are UA alumni Gilbert Bailon ('81, St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor), Nancy Cleeland ('77, former Los Angeles Times reporter), Richard Gilman ('72, former Boston Globe publisher), Florence Graves ('76, Common Cause founding editor), Savannah Guthrie ('93, NBC "Today" co-anchor), Jane Kay ('61, environmental reporter), Lynne Olson ('69, author/journalist), Mort Rosenblum ('65, Associated Press), Frank Sotomayor ('66, former L.A. Times editor/reporter) and Bill Walsh ('84, Washington Post copy chief) — along with major supporters of the school Hugh and Jan Harelson and Donald and Lou Edith "Luda" Soldwedel.

Carson ('51) and Sharkey ('72) also are alums, and Rosenblum is a current UA professor. Martin, Miller, Walsh, and the Harelsons and Soldwedels will be honored posthumously. 

"These champions of journalism have made the program what it is today, and they deserve to be honored for their incredible contributions," said David Cuillier, current director of the School of Journalism. "We are all better off because of their hard work and dedication."

The class of 18 is scheduled to be honored on April 7 in Tucson at a venue to be announced. Watch for information later at

The School of Journalism Hall of Fame

Douglas D. Martin: Founded the school as it transitioned from the Department of English curriculum. Martin, who left in 1956 and died in 1963 at 78, was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the Detroit Free Press. He established the school's Zenger Freedom of the Press Award in 1953 and wrote numerous books, including "The Lamp of the Desert," a history of the UA.

Sherman R. Miller III: The school's third director, Miller helped the department become accredited for the first time and received national acclaim when Esquire magazine included him among 33 of the nation's "super-profs." He came to the UA from The New York Times, advised the Arizona Daily Wildcat and died in 1967 at 57 after contracting infectious hepatitis in Turkey while serving as a Fulbright lecturer.

Donald W. Carson: After a career at the Arizona Daily Star and The Associated Press, the 1954 UA grad returned in 1967 as a professor and served as director from 1978 to 1985. In addition to inspiring students, he coached Arizona newspapers on their news reporting and was honored by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for "unprecedented contributions" to the industry in the area of diversity. He retired in 1997.

Jacqueline E. Sharkey: The 1972 graduate founded El Independiente, the school's bilingual publication, as a professor in 1976. She reported on Latin American insurgencies, including leading coverage of the Iran-Contra scandal, and worked at The Washington Post as a copy editor. As director of the school from 2000 to 2010, she expanded the curriculum, faculty and enrollment and oversaw the move to the modern Marshall Building.

Gilbert Bailon: The 1981 graduate is editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he oversaw coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri, riots that won the newspaper the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. Bailon, former executive editor of the Dallas Morning News, served as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and as a board member for the Maynard Institute for Journalism. He is a member of the Arizona Daily Wildcat Hall of Fame.

Nancy Cleeland: The 1976 graduate was the Los Angeles Times' lead reporter-writer on the "The Walmart Effect" series that won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award in national reporting for detailing how Walmart's drive for lower retail prices had impacted international labor practices. She also covered immigration, labor and trade at the San Diego Union-Tribune. She is deputy director of communications at OSHA in the U.S. Department of Labor.

Richard H. Gilman: As publisher of The Boston Globe from 1999 to 2006, the 1972 graduate helped the newspaper win three Pulitzer Prizes, including for its investigation into sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Boston archdiocese, later portrayed in the Oscar-winning film "Spotlight." He also was an assistant managing editor at the Arizona Daily Star and held numerous senior positions at The New York Times.

Florence Graves: The 1976 graduate is founding director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Graves also was founding editor of Common Cause magazine, where she won the Investigative Reporters and Editors award for showing flaws in the government approval process for NutraSweet. Her Washington Post coverage of sexual misconduct allegations against Oregon Sen. Bob Packwood led to his resignation.

Savannah Guthrie: Co-anchor of NBC's "Today," the 1993 graduate has a Georgetown University law degree, covered the White House for NBC News from 2008 to 2011 and is a former KVOA-TV anchor in Tucson. She received the Matrix Award as one of the top women in communications this year in New York, where her co-anchor, Matt Lauer, introduced her and said, "No one has ever brought a better resumé to this job."

Jane Kay: The 1961 graduate was one of the nation's early environmental beat reporters at the Arizona Daily Star, where her 1985 series exposing TCE pollution in Tucson groundwater from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base led to a federal cleanup. Kay went on to do award-winning work for the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, National Geographic and others, reporting on the shrinking ice in the Arctic and the forest loss in the Amazon.

Lynne Olson: A New York Times best-selling author of seven books of history, the 1969 graduate has been called "our era's foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy" by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Olson worked for The Associated Press as a national feature writer and as a foreign correspondent in AP's Moscow bureau. She also covered politics and the White House for AP and the Baltimore Sun.

Mort Rosenblum: The 1965 graduate covered 200 countries for The Associated Press, including as bureau chief in the Congo, Nigeria, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Buenos Aires and Paris. He became editor of the International Herald Tribune, then returned as AP special correspondent. He has written a dozen books, teaches a UA class on global reporting and is co-director of the school's Center for Border & Global Journalism.

Frank O. Sotomayor: The 1966 graduate, a former editor at the Los Angeles Times, co-led a series on Latinos that won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1984. Sotomayor, chair of the school's Journalism Advisory Council, is a former associate director for the Institute for Justice and Journalism at USC Annenberg and co-founded the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and the CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California.

Bill Walsh: An author of three books on copy editing, the 1984 graduate was a copy chief at The Washington Post for two decades and started a renowned website for copy editors in 1995, Walsh, who died of cancer last March at 55, received the American Copy Editors Society's top honor, the Glamann Award, and helped edit numerous Pulitzer-winning projects at the Post, including a series on NSA surveillance in 2014. 

Hugh and Jan Harelson: The couple impacted students through their leadership and philanthropy. When the department was targeted for closure in 1994, Hugh, a 1952 graduate, became co-chair of a campaign to keep it open. After his death in 1998, Jan raised money for a computer lab, started an endowment to support it and funded a teaching award. She died in 2015.

Donald and Lou Edith "Luda" Soldwedel: The couple supported the school for more than 20 years and made major gifts to continue their legacy. Don, who owned small newspapers in Arizona, became chair of the Journalism Advisory Council and shaped its fundraising role. After he died in 2008, Luda increased their annual gift to cover the school's operations expenses. She died in 2016.

The inductees were among dozens nominated for the inaugural class. The other candidates automatically will be considered for the next class in 2019. Nominees may include alumni (whether they graduated or attended without graduating) and former employees of the School of Journalism, living or deceased. Nominees should have made a significant contribution to journalism, or an equivalent contribution to society.

A Hall of Fame Committee screens the nominations, and the school's Journalism Advisory Council provides its recommendations for final consideration by a faculty vote. All nominations are kept confidential.

Extra info

  • Click here to see the School of Journalism Hall of Fame inductees along with special funds established in their names, to which supporters can contribute through a secure UA Foundation website.
  • To submit a nomination for 2019, describe in no more than 350 words why the candidate is worthy of the Hall of Fame and email the letter to outreach coordinator Mike Chesnick or mail to UA School of Journalism, P.O. Box 210158B, Tucson, AZ 85721-0158.
  • Saturday's Foley Freedom Run/Walk, now in its third year, will draw thousands of participants in cities and on campuses across the country — including the UA — in memory of freelance journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped and slain in 2014 while reporting inside Syria.