Reynolds School of Journalism receives nearly $8M gift

12/8/2009 - By: Zanny Marsh

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has awarded the Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, almost $8 million to prepare students to navigate the revolution in journalism. It is the biggest gift in the history of the journalism school.

"This is a transformational gift," University President Milton D. Glick said. "It means our students will be even more prepared to communicate on every platform-print, broadcast, the Internet, social media and whatever comes next."

In addition to being the largest award to the Reynolds School, the gift of $7.96 million is among the top five gifts in university history. The foundation has given more than $20 million to the university, most of it to advance the study of journalism.

The gift will provide funds to rewire and recable the journalism building, to install a robust server system, to replace analog TV and radio facilities and to create a new multimedia newsroom in which students will learn how to write and present information on every platform.

"In a world that talks constantly about the decline of journalism, this gift lights the way for its future," said Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Reynolds School. "This gift will permit us to deal with the continuing revolution in journalism, regardless of what it brings. Our entirely digital, multimedia technology will acquaint students-whether they are studying news or integrated marketing communications-with every situation they might find in the rapidly changing world of media."

The gift also includes funds to move the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media from the National Judicial College on the University campus to the journalism building.

"With a $2.5 million challenge grant 20 years ago, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation provided the resources to establish the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies and build a new state-of-the-art facility for its home," said Foundation Chairman Fred W. Smith. "This new grant will upgrade the technology and infrastructure in that facility, providing the tools necessary for today's journalism students to stay competitive in their rapidly changing profession.

The University today will begin a campaign to raise a restricted fund of $1.6 million to maintain the sophisticated technology that will be purchased with the foundation's gift, Glick said.

Among the foundation's other gifts to the journalism school are four endowed chairs-the Donald W. Reynolds Chair in Business Journalism, the Reynolds Chair in Critical Thinking and Ethical Practices, the Reynolds Chair of Media Technology and the Fred W. Smith Chair in Journalism.

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, Nevada, the foundation has contributed more than $100 million through its national journalism initiative during the past 15 years.

The Reynolds School of Journalism is Nevada's only accredited journalism school.


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