$2.5 Million Donation to Howard Journalism Students to Fund Education and Opportunity

Philanthropist Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, is donating $2.5 million to the Cathy Hughes School of Communications' journalism students. Photo by Wikicommons.

By Kaylan Ware, Howard University News Service

On September 24, Howard University announced that philanthropist Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, would be donating $2.5 million to the Cathy Hughes School of Communications’ (CHSOC) journalism students. 

The $2.5 million is to be divided into The Craig Newmark Journalism Endowed Opportunity Scholarship Program and The Craig Newmark Journalism Endowed Student Experience Fund to support different areas of need. The scholarship program will provide $1.5 million and target junior and senior students with financial need, while the experience fund will support career development and advancement opportunities. 

In a statement from Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, Craig Newmark said, “[he] selected Howard and CHSOC for our history of exceptional work instilling values into the next generation of diverse journalists.”

Newmark said that the donation was made to strengthen journalism today.

“I want to stand up for trustworthy journalism, and I want to stand against deceptive and fake news,” Newmark said in a statement.

Newmark has donated to journalism schools and entities in the past including the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism (which has been renamed after Newmark), Columbia University, Consumer Reports, Poynter News and NPR. 

“With disinformation flowing through social media platforms and the news, it’s critical to modernize journalism ethics so that the industry keeps pace with the ever-changing digital landscape,” Newmark said in a 2019 statement.

His generous donation will contribute to CHOSC’s efforts to keep up with the fast-growing world of journalism.  

“In order for the School of Communications to maintain a competitive advantage in the media industry, it is essential to continue to encourage innovation,” CHSOC Student Council President Nia Rutherford said. “I think this donation will provide the necessary tools in order to see that this department remains competitive.” 

Rutherford plans to advocate for new equipment for journalism students as well as financial support for students who may need assistance in light of the pandemic. 

“I’ve seen so many donations given to the university, but this is the first one dedicated to the School of Communications since I have been elected,” she said. “It is very inspiring, and I am so excited to have this benefit the journalism department.”

Similarly, president Frederick anticipates the affect this donation will have on Howard’s journalism students. 

“This gift will have a profound impact on our students, preparing them to become successful journalists who will give voice to all communities across our country,” Frederick said in the statement. “The nation is in desperate need for media professionals who are trained to seek out truth with integrity now more than ever.”  

“Fifty years after the 1968 Kerner Commission report, our relevancy is heightened by the tenor of our times,” dean of CHSOC Gracie Lawson-Borders said in a statement. “It is essential that our school continues to prepare students journalists to provide context and give voice to all communities across this country. In the School of C, our award-winning faculty work to train and prepare successful journalists for the application of our craft.”