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Missouri School of Journalism

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June 2012

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J-School Quiz

Twelve Quick Questions on the Eight Deans of the School

By Alison Matas and Chantel O'Neal
Strategic Communication Students

Although the Missouri School of Journalism's history spans more than 100 years, the school has only had eight deans. Test your knowledge and see just how much you know about the J-School deans.


  1. Who was the first dean of the journalism school?
    1. Roy M. Fisher
    2. Talcott Williams
    3. Walter Williams
    4. Edward Gerald
    Show Answer Answer: C. Walter Williams was the founding dean. (See pages 5 and 189, "The J-School.")

  2. What subject did Walter Williams teach?
    1. History and principles
    2. Theory and practice
    3. Introduction to writing
    4. Principles of advertising
    Show Answer Answer: A. Due to increasing enrollment, the School of Journalism was moved from Academic Hall to Switzler Hall. There, students were taught history and principles by Dean Walter Williams, theory and practice by Frank L. Martin and advertising by Charles G. Ross. (See page 5, "The J-School.")

  3. In what year did Walter Williams introduce "The Journalist's Creed?"
    1. 1908
    2. 1910
    3. 1911
    4. 1914
    Show Answer Answer: D. Walter Williams wrote "The Journalistís Creed," a personal affirmation of journalism ethics. It was incorporated into the 1914 Deskbook of the School of Journalism, a basic style manual developed by the faculty for the Missourian newsroom. All students were required to memorize the creed. (See page 11, "The J-School.")

  4. What university did Walter Williams attend as an undergraduate?
    1. University of Iowa
    2. Harvard University
    3. Yale University
    4. None; he only obtained a high school education.
    Show Answer Answer: D. Dean Walter Williams only completed his education through high school. In 1923, Williams, with the help of E.W. Tucker from the Kemper Military School, founded the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association. MIPA promotes journalism to middle school and high school students and teachers. (See pages 26-27, "The J-School.")

  5. Frank L. Martin becomes the second dean of the J-School in 1935. How many years did he serve?
    1. Two years
    2. Six years
    3. Twelve years
    4. Twenty years
    Show Answer Answer: B. Frank L. Martin died suddenly of a stroke on July 18, 1941. (See page 52, "The J-School.")

  6. The third dean, Frank L. Mott, was the first dean of the J-School to ______ .
    1. win a Pulitzer Prize
    2. earn a doctorate degree
    3. write a textbook
    4. Both A and B
    5. All of the above.
    Show Answer Answer: D. Dr. Frank L. Mott came to the Missouri School of Journalism from the University of Iowa. The renowned historical researcher was the first dean of the school with a doctorate. In 1939, Mott won the Pulizter Prize in history for A History of American Magazines. (See page 54, "The J-School.")

  7. What item once belonging to Walter Williams did Earl English, the fourth dean, accept at the Freedom of Information Center dedication in 1959?
    1. His Bible
    2. The original manuscript of The Journalist's Creed
    3. His favorite pen
    4. His typewriter
    Show Answer Answer: A. Walter Williams' son, Edwin Moss Williams, presented his father's Bible to Dean Earl English and FOIC Director Paul Fisher. (See page 85, "The J-School.")

  8. Roy M. Fisher, the J-School's fifth dean, had served as editor of which major newspaper?
    1. New York Daily News
    2. Chicago Tribune
    3. Chicago Daily News
    4. The New York Times
    Show Answer Answer: C. Roy M. Fisher served as the editor of the Chicago Daily News prior to becoming the dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. Fisher received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Kansas State University and had been a lecturer at the Medill School of Journalism. (See page 102, "The J-School.")

  9. Who was the sixth dean who was only appointed for one academic year?
    1. Edward Gerald
    2. James Atwater
    3. James Saunders
    4. Elmer Lower
    Show Answer Answer: D. Elmer Lower, BJ '33, was named dean of the Missouri School of Journalism for the 1982-1983 school year. The former ABC news president was also a journalism faculty member. Lower received the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1959. (See page 119, "The J-School.")

  10. Which of the following was one of the hobbies that James Atwater, the seventh dean, enjoyed?
    1. Bird-watching
    2. Dancing
    3. Whittling
    4. Playing horseshoes
    Show Answer Answer: A. The seventh dean of the Missouri School of Journalism was a senior editor at Time Magazine and a writer for the Saturday Evening Post and Reader's Digest. Atwater also enjoyed bird-watching. (See page 122, "The J-School.")

  11. The current dean, Dean Mills, is the J-Schoolís eighth dean. How many years has he served thus far?
    1. 17 years
    2. 19 years
    3. 23 years
    4. 26 years
    Show Answer Answer: C. In 1989, Dean Mills was named the eighth dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. Prior to coming to the school, Mills served as Moscow bureau chief for the Baltimore Sun from 1969-1972, and as a Sun correspondent in Washington D.C., from 1972-1975 where he covered the Watergate scandal, the resignation of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew and the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision. (See page 132, "The J-School.")

  12. Which dean was the Graduate Studies Center named after in 1999?
    1. Dean Mills
    2. Earl English
    3. Walter Williams
    4. Roy M. Fisher
    Show Answer Answer: B. The School's graduate studies office was renamed the Earl F. English Graduate Studies Center in 1999. English served as dean from 1950-1971. He was a leader in advancing graduate education and in the modern journalism accreditation movement, which began in 1945 with the American Council on Education in Journalism. (See page 148, "The J-School.")


The J-School: Celebrating One Hundred Years of Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute Dedication. Published in spring 2010, "The J-School" walks readers through a century of landmark moments and academic strides. The commemorative book was edited by Suzette Heiman, professor of strategic communication and director of planning and communications, designed by VML of Kansas City, Mo., and printed by Walsworth Publishing Company, Marceline, Mo. Order your copy by contacting the School.

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Revised: June 1, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Curators of the University of Missouri  |  Contact the J-School