The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Establishes Endowed Chair in Business Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism

Reynolds Journalism Institute
Reynolds Journalism Institute

Columbia, Mo. (Dec. 11, 2008) — The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation announced today the awarding of a $2 million grant at the Missouri School of Journalism to establish the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism.

The new chair will allow for the expansion of business journalism course offerings at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. It also will provide for the development of course offerings for working professionals through Missouri’s online master’s programs.

The grant provides $2 million in endowment to fund the chair in perpetuity and $206,500 to enable the School to fund the chair beginning with the 2009-2010 academic year.

“Today’s complex financial structures demand journalists who have the knowledge and training to interpret business issues for citizens.”
Dean Mills

“This endowed chair at the University of Missouri is part of a much larger initiative approved by our trustees and recently funded,” said Fred W. Smith, chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. “Within that initiative, a network of Reynolds-funded institutions led by the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University will collaborate to increase the presence of business journalism curriculum on university campuses while also providing strong training for midcareer journalists who realize their own need for a better understanding of financial and economic issues. The historic economic events of the past year have shown clearly that this effort is needed more now than ever before.”

Dean Mills
Dean Mills

“We thank the Reynolds Foundation for its vision and generosity,” said Dean Mills, dean of the School. “Today’s complex financial structures demand journalists who have the knowledge and training to interpret business issues for citizens.” Donald W. Reynolds received his bachelor’s degree from the School in 1927.

The new Reynolds Chair will work closely with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, a world-class center for researching and testing new models of journalism. The Institute has been funded by $32 million from the Reynolds Foundation. Journalists, researchers, citizens and corporate partners collaborate in efforts to find practical solutions to challenges facing the industry in this recently opened 50,000-square-foot facility.

The Reynolds Chair also will work with the School’s Society of American Business Editors and Writers chair, held by Professor Martha Steffens. With the Reynolds Chair addition, the School has a total of 10 endowed chairs.

Martha Steffens
Martha Steffens

The Reynolds Chair will team up with other units at the University of Missouri and professional organizations. The School’s news media outlets, RJI and the professional journalism organizations and programs headquartered at the School and in Washington, D.C., will provide numerous opportunities to expand the influence of the Reynolds Chair.

The MU Trulaske College of Business and the College of Arts and Science will be involved in the development of a well-rounded business journalism curriculum. The MU Center for the Digital Globe, a unique collaboration of the School of Journalism, the College of Business, the School of Law and the College of Human Environmental Sciences, will help integrate a multidisciplinary approach to globalization and digitalization. Additional partnerships are anticipated with colleagues from the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State and other Reynolds Network affiliates.

Recruitment for the new chair will be conducted during the 2008-2009 academic year, with the holder beginning responsibilities in fall 2009.

The Missouri School of Journalism centennial and RJI dedication celebration on Sept. 10-12 offered almost 80 sessions on the future of journalism and emerging technologies. The three-day event attracted approximately 2,500 alumni, students and other guests from all over the world. Missouri was the first school of journalism to offer bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees in the field. The School enrolls approximately 2,300 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S.

Updated: April 30, 2020

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