News Service


John Eighmey, Journalism and Mass Communication, (515) 294- 0481
Tom Mitchell, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-4607
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- A $9 million gift from ISU alumni Robert and Diane Greenlee of Boulder, Colo., will create the Robert and Diane Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, officials announced today (Wednesday, March 11).

The Greenlees' gift is the largest ever to ISU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Part of the ISU Foundation's Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best, the gift is a challenge to other ISU alumni and friends to raise an additional $9 million by 2001 for the school.

ISU's journalism program will become the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication pending approval by the Iowa Board of Regents. The "school" designation denotes a professional program that has achieved a certain size and scope. The designation carries a level of prestige that helps universities attract endowed professorships and research funds; recruit top faculty, undergraduate students and graduate students; expand and enhance curriculum; and facilitate fund-raising. The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication will be a unit of the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"We're pleased to be able to provide a lead gift in helping establish Iowa State University's new School of Journalism and Communication. This important effort in allowing Iowa State to play a leading role in the future of educating our nation's future journalists and professional communicators will not be achieved by our gift alone," said Bob and Diane Greenlee. "Were it not for a dedicated faculty committed to excellence, President's Jischke's vision of the future, and support from the Board of Regents and others, this important effort would not be possible."

The Greenlees have had great success in business. They turned a bankrupt AM radio station into the number one station in the Denver metro market. Eventually, the Greenlees owned six stations and became venture capitalists. They have helped to launch a dozen new companies, including the Rock Bottom Brewery chain, which recently opened a franchise in West Des Moines.

Robert Greenlee is currently mayor of Boulder and recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives. Diane Greenlee is a member of the ISU Foundation Governors and, in addition to her husband, of the Journalism Advisory Board. Both Greenlees also are Campaign Destiny leadership giving co- chairs.

"We'd also like to challenge other individuals and corporate citizens to assist us in making Iowa State's new School of Journalism and Communication a reality. We commit ourselves to assist in seeing that the job is completed," said the Greenlees. "We are honored and pleased to be part of this effort because there is no more important mission than providing educational opportunities to the next generation of citizens."

"Journalism and communication education has a strong tradition at Iowa State, and has produced broadly educated graduates who have gone to on great success in all levels of communication fields," said ISU President Martin C. Jischke. "The generosity of Bob and Diane Greenlee will make this tradition at Iowa State even stronger. Their gift will help us create one of the premier schools of journalism and communication in the country."

Private fund raising will support a variety of undergraduate and graduate initiatives in journalism and communication, including the hiring of new faculty in specialized fields; increased communication and information technology resources; and further development of multicultural programs.

Other future initiatives for the school include:

"Named schools leverage the strengths of a university and combine that with their own focus to bring national and international recognition," said journalism chair John Eighmey. "Naming this school for the Greenlees signifies our leadership intent at the highest level."

Journalism education at ISU began in 1905, and the program has held accreditation continuously since 1948 when the national accredication process began. It is the only journalism program in Iowa with a 50-year record of accreditation.

In 1989, the program was strengthened in response to an Iowa Board of Regents consultant's report on duplication at the state universities. The traditional journalism and mass communication program was combined with the telecommunicative arts program to form a broad-based program spanning all media. Two years ago, the department was further expanded with the addition of the Iowa State's program in communication studies, including intercultural and organizational communication.

Now, Iowa State's program is "the largest and most comprehensive in the state," said Eighmey, noting its 750 undergraduates, 45 master's degree students, and 25 faculty members. Courses of study include newspaper and magazine journalism, electronic media studies, science communication, public relations, advertising, visual communication, organizational communication and intercultural communication.

Nationally, only 12 of the 108 accredited journalism programs are named, including the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Kansas, Lawrence; and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Tempe.

"Journalism is central to Iowa State's land-grant mission by combining a practical and liberal education to produce graduates who are broadly educated. It also is a key to our extension mission,:" said Jischke. "Having a named school in this area carries a prestige that will enable Iowa State to become the best by recruiting the brightest students and the most skilled faculty."

"Campaign Destiny is a critical financial resource for helping Iowa State become the best land-grant university in the country," said Chuck Johnson, national campaign chair. "As two of our national executive committee volunteers, Bob and Diane Greenlee embody the leadership qualities propelling the campaign's success."

Since its public announcement in September 1996, Campaign Destiny has exceeded $242 million of its $300 million goal.


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