Columbia, Mo. (Feb. 13, 2012) — After almost four decades as a journalist and educator, Brian Brooks, BJ ’67, MA ’69, will retire from the Missouri School of Journalism at the end of the 2011-12 academic year. During his tenure, he educated thousands of aspiring journalists, pioneered technological breakthroughs benefitting both classroom instruction and the media industry, and helped further the reputation of the school as a leader in journalism education.
Brooks served as associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration for the past eight years and chaired the school’s editorial department from 1999 to 2003. He joined the faculty in 1974 as news editor of the Columbia Missourian, the school’s daily community newspaper, and served as editor from 1984 to 1987.
“Brian is one of those faculty who truly will be impossible to replace,” said Dean Mills, dean of the school. “He established a reputation as a legendary teacher, editor and textbook author early in his career. Then he topped it off, during the last few years, by becoming a legendary undergraduate dean, pushing for quality and innovation.”
Brooks is the author or co-author of four leading journalism textbooks, including “News Reporting and Writing” and “The Art of Editing.”
After graduating from the school in 1969 with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Brooks served the U.S. Army in Germany and Vietnam as an information officer, for which he earned a Bronze Star. While on sabbatical from the school from 1997 to 1999, he was editor of The Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military newspaper in Europe. He directed the paper’s coverage of the Bosnia mission, the U.S. entry into Kosovo and the bombing of Belgrade. For this work, he was awarded the Department of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award.
Brian S. Brooks Journalism Scholarship
In appreciation of Brian Brooks’ many contributions to the Missouri School of Journalism, alumni and friends are creating a permanent endowed scholarship in his name. The Brian S. Brooks Journalism Scholarship will support generations of future students and honors a long-time Missouri School of Journalism professor-alumnus. Make a gift.
Brooks pioneered the use of computers in the School. Along with faculty member Phill Brooks, BJ ’70, MA ’72, he was responsible for securing $15 million in funding from IBM Corporation from 1989 to 1997. As a result, the Columbia Missourian became the first newspaper in the world to produce a paper using a local area network. The IBM grant allowed the entire school to computerize. Brooks facilitated strategic relationships with other technology companies, including Apple Inc., and in 2005 he was honored as an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Brooks led the creation of the Walter Williams Scholars program, which attracts high-achieving freshmen from around the country. To be considered, students must earn an ACT score of 33 (1440 SAT), typically the top 1 percent of college-bound students. In fall 2011, the School accepted 57 students into the program.
Always an advocate for students, in 2004 Brooks received the University of Missouri’s Division of Student Affairs Excellence in Education Award. For more than 35 years, he has managed the Dow Jones News Fund editing internship program at Missouri, which trains students from schools nationwide for careers as newspaper copy editors.
In 2009 the Missouri Press Association inducted Brooks into the Missouri Newspaper Hall of Fame, recognizing exemplary contributions to the profession.
Updated: June 5, 2020