Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011

To mark its centennial, IU Journalism School inducts its inaugural group of distinguished alumni

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Sept. 1, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of its centennial celebration, Indiana University's School of Journalism will induct 15 accomplished journalists and communications professionals into its inaugural class of distinguished alumni.

The inaugural recipients of the school's Distinguished Alumni Award include five of the school's Pulitzer Prize winners -- including Ernie Pyle, whose name adorns the school's building -- and another alumnus who was honored when his paper was awarded a Pulitzer for public service.

Among those being inducted are an alumnus who led the journalism program for 30 years, two newspaper publishers who foster professional advancement through the Poynter Institute, a founder of one of the world's largest public relations companies, a guiding force at the Associated Press as it grew in influence, and a photojournalist whose pictures helped to bring about civil rights history.

Three women -- the first female editor of the Indiana Daily Student, a co-creator of the iconic "I Love Lucy" television show and a retired placement director who has been closely associated with the program longer than any other person -- also will be honored.

"These awards celebrate the great history of one of the oldest journalism programs in the world," said Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the School of Journalism. "The contributions of these 15 people are immeasurable, and we are very proud to honor them this year.

"The centennial celebration is a perfect time to recognize the first class of recipients. We know that with more than 10,000 current alumni, we have many outstanding people to select in the future," Hamm added.

The induction ceremony will take place Friday, Sept. 16, as part of a special weekend of activities Sept. 15-18 to celebrate 100 years of journalism education at IU. Other activities will include reunions, professional breakout sessions, banquets and a screening of a film about Pyle.

Complete information about the weekend's activities and online registration is available at

With the graduation of the 2011 class in May, the IU School of Journalism now has more than 10,000 living alumni.

Here is information about each of the inductees:

I. Wilmer "Will" Counts, M.S., '54 (Education) and Ed.D., '67, whose images of unrest during the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957 still influence civil rights discussion today. His photos -- distributed on the AP wire and later published on the front pages nationwide -- influenced President Dwight Eisenhower's decision to use federal troops to restore peace. His photo of a black student being harassed by a white peer as she entered the school was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Forty years later, he and his wife organized reconciliation between the two people. In 1963, after stints as an AP photographer and picture editor in Chicago and Indianapolis, Counts joined IU's journalism faculty and directed and developed the school's photo and visual communication sequence through a period of phenomenal growth. He retired 32 years later and died in 2001.

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