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SPJ celebrates 110 years by returning to site of founding at DePauw University


Larry Messing, Director of Development, 317-920-4784, lmessing@spj.org
Zo Berg, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS A brief ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 23 to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Society of Professional Journalists. It will be held at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where SPJ was founded.

All year long, SPJ has been marking this milestone, and what better way to highlight our history than to go back where it all began in 1909, said SPJ National President J. Alex Tarquinio. We are so proud to be the oldest journalism membership organization, and DePauw played a vital role in our earliest days and continues to do so.

The outdoor program will take place on the north side of historic East College, yards away from where 10 DePauw student journalists created the journalistic fraternity originally known as Sigma Delta Chi in 1909. The place is marked by the SPJ obelisk, first christened in 1967, which honors SPJs legacy on campus.

The event brings together leaders from SPJ and DePauw to celebrate the shared history and partnership. Those expected to speak include Tarquinio; Indiana Pro Chapter President John Russell; Director of the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media at DePauw Jonathan Nichols-Pethick; DePauw President D. Mark McCoy; and Special Advisor to the President Ken Owen, who is also a 1982 DePauw graduate and award-winning journalist.

Following the ceremony, there will be an informal reception at the Eugene S. Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media nearby.

"Much has changed in the world since our students boldly decided to create a society that would strive to uphold and promote principles and standards for those involved in news gathering to live and work by," Owen said. "One hundred ten years later, in a moment where the once-clear lines between the press and the public have been blurred by social media and technology that makes 'breaking news' a regular and nearly real-time phenomenon, these conversations and considerations are more important than ever. DePauw looks forward to welcoming SPJ's leadership to celebrate history and consider journalism's vital role in our republic and our world."

In its 110-year history, SPJ has grown to be the nations most broad-based journalism organization dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. It includes 6,000 members involved in broadcast, print and online journalism.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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