Journalism Receives $8.7 Million Gift

Jack Anderson with colleague Irene Epstein in an undated photo (courtesy of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications).

Chris Di Salvo, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 408-506-0455
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications has received an $8.7 million bequest from the estate of the late Jack and Emma Anderson, who owned the press where the Spartan Daily student newspaper was published for 20 years beginning in the mid-1950s. The gift, among the 10 largest ever for SJSU, will be used to help fund the school’s transition to the digital era.

“The Jack and Emma Anderson Fund will support our dynamic vision to be recognized internationally as a leader in new media and social media research in higher education, reflecting Silicon Valley’s energy and innovative spirit,” said School of Journalism and Mass Communications Director Bob Rucker.

A Well-Equipped Classroom

The Andersons knew the importance of providing journalism majors with hands-on experience. Jack, who headed press operations at Globe Printing Company, and Emma, who was bookkeeper, made sure the Spartan Daily staff had a room at their South First Street shop to finalize page layouts before the newspaper was printed each evening.

“The print shop became a well-equipped classroom for the students who took turns putting the paper ‘to bed’ each weeknight,” wrote the late Professor Dolores Spurgeon in her JMC history, The First Fifty Years. “The physical arrangement thus provided a close working relationship between students, typographers and pressmen, constituting an instructional facility far beyond the financial means of the department.”

As progress and changes in the industry made it possible for Spartan Daily staff to do everything needed to layout and design the paper inside the newsroom in Dwight Bentel Hall, the couple rolled along with the times, recalled Professor Emeritus of Advertising Clyde Lawrence.

“When we did move the production of the paper to offset printing,” the professor said, “Jack actually had a ceremony for the students by burying the old press and place it in a concrete slab.”

After her husband’s death in 1989, Emma ran the print shop for eight years before retiring. She died in March 2012.

Timely Curriculum

When the time came for estate planning, the Andersons chose to continue to support journalism students through the changes the couple was seeing in the industry, changes that are very apparent today with the advent of the Internet and social media.

“The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will continue prioritizing timely curriculum advancements that accommodate changing times, student needs and media industry expectations for a fully prepared graduate workforce,” Rucker said.

The Anderson gift will support the School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ following initiatives:

  • Developing mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals and companies who share our enthusiasm for top quality, innovative and dynamic uses of new technology to deliver specialized certificate training and advanced degree online instruction.
  • Establishing a Center for New Media and Social Media Research focused on gathering, interpreting and sharing timely information and successful analyses of trends and expectations to help companies and organizations target, attract, motivate and maintain new consumers.

The SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications is one of only two at California universities named among the 50 best in the U.S. by College Media Matters, a leading student journalism publication sponsored by the Associated College Press. JMC graduates over 200 students annually with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, advertising, public relations and mass communications.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,500 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city. Learn more about Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State University.


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