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Todd Happer (BSJ88)

Tribute and photo courtesy of ASTC. 

Todd Happer, Senior Manager of Member Engagement at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), passed away on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, from complications of cancer. The ASTC Board of Directors and staff share our condolences with the many members of our community who treasured Todd as a trusted colleague and true friend.

Todd began his career at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago directly following his graduation from Northwestern University in 1988. In subsequent years, Todd led marketing and communications for several institutions, including Science Central, the Orlando Science Center, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Todd continued to serve the museum and science center community as Associate Publisher of Scientific American Explorations, and he worked for more than a decade as Vice President, Science Education and Museums Editor at Natural History magazine.

Early in his career, Todd served as the Assistant Editor for Dimensions magazine and other ASTC publications. Todd returned to ASTC in 2016 where he most recently led ASTC’s member engagement efforts. In fact, there seemed nothing he enjoyed more than connecting with colleagues from the global science center community.

Throughout his career, Todd made major contributions to the association, including serving for many years on the ASTC Conference Program Planning Committee, helping to shape one of the premier professional development opportunities for our field. Todd’s support of ASTC members has been especially impactful during the COVID-19 pandemic as he has led multiple efforts to ensure that ASTC members have the connections and resources they need to navigate this crisis.

Todd built an encyclopedic knowledge of science centers, science museums, and informal learning institutions, which he used to facilitate connections between members, help share effective approaches, and increase the public’s understanding of the work and impact of these institutions. Todd’s work helped hundreds of institutions around the world to learn about innovative new strategies, develop their staff capacity, and scale their impact on the communities they serve.

Perhaps most important is Todd’s impact on the countless individuals with whom he built relationships over the years. Todd truly “knew everyone,” and he was always seeking to understand each person’s unique perspectives and find ways to support their priorities and strengthen their work. Todd’s loss will be felt by so many, but his memory and his legacy will continue.

To honor that legacy, ASTC has established the Todd Happer Memorial Scholarship Fund which will help support participation in future ASTC Annual Conferences from those at small or remote science centers who would otherwise be unable to attend. Click here for more information about the fund and how to contribute.

Remembering Todd Happer

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Raymond C. Nelson

Raymond C. Nelson, 92, retired professor and associate dean at Medill, died May 30, 2021, in Seattle. Survivors include his wife, Carol; a son, David; and a daughter, Leslie Nelson Kellogg.

He wanted to be remembered simply as a reporter, writer and teacher, which summarizes the three legs of his career. But he was far more than that—a man with a wide variety of interests, a deep knowledge of his disciplines, and abiding affection for friends and colleagues. Despite being a city boy, he developed an avid interest in the outdoors: sailing, bicycling, camping and skiing. He was also a lifelong baseball fan. His mother’s family was from the St. Louis area and he managed to become a St. Louis Cardinals bat boy. As a South Sider, he was a White Sox fan. He also played a bit of semi-pro baseball but disliked the bus travel.

“I think the singular, most important thing to know about my dad was his curiosity about anything,” said his son. “He always wanted the details about something with constant questions, always probing to try and get to the heart of understanding the topic in question.”

Retired faculty member David Nelson (no relation) praised him as “an efficient, loyal and low-key administrator” who “provided the detail work behind many of Medill’s major mid-20th century projects, serving as its associate dean. He made sure that multimillion-dollar grant proposals to the Gannett and Ford foundations were in perfect order. They were. And Medill launched its Urban Journalism Center for mid-career journalists to study race and social inequities nearly a half-century ago. He also played a major role in overseeing the school’s first journalism residency program. An unassuming man, Prof. Nelson left his mark as an able administrator. We owe him a debt of thanks and wish his family solace at this time.”

Born in Chicago in 1928, Ray attended Tilden Tech, then enlisted in the Army and did occupation duty in Korea with the 31st Infantry Regiment. At the time of his discharge in San Francisco, the Army tried to get soldiers to re-enlist by offering promotions. “We knew a war was coming in Korea,” said Ray. “The signs were everywhere and we wanted nothing to do with it.”

Raymond Nelson in old Medill studio black and white.
Photo courtesy of Nelson family.

In 1952 he earned a journalism degree from the University of Missouri Columbia, working as a reporter until he went to Medill for a master’s in 1955, winning the Harrington Award for being an outstanding student in the Radio-TV sequence.

He caught on at KBUR in Burlington, Iowa. The story goes that Ray worked the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and came to the attention of NBC’s Sam Saran (Medill ‘5?), who helped bring him to Chicago and WMAQ as a reporter. One duty was a program called “Night Desk,” an early and innovative mobile-reporting effort. Using a broadcasting/recording setup in a panel truck, reporters did mobile stories throughout the city.

After a stint in public relations at the National Education Association in Washington, D.C., he rejoined Saran in 1963 in Northwestern’s public relations department at the time of the lakefront expansion. From there he moved to the Medill faculty in 1966, eventually serving as associate dean. “My dad was extremely proud of being associated with NU generally and Medill specifically,” his son said. “The Cherubs program was something he frequently spoke about as well as the Teaching Newspaper Program. From an immediate family perspective, my dad was proud that everyone in the family had earned a degree from NU.”

George Harmon, who was on the faculty when Ray was associate dean in the 1980s, remembers: “Ray was smart, cheerful and innovative. As associate dean he effectively mentored faculty members who joined Medill in the early 1980s. In later years he liked to experiment with new courses and with old courses that needed new wrinkles. When working downtown in news, he earned a reputation as a go-get-’em newsman who loved chasing stories.”

The Nelson family lived for years in Wilmette. After retiring in the 1990s, Ray and Carol moved to Seattle. Eventually they built a house in Port Townsend, where they enjoyed an active retirement.

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Lisa Lee (MSJ93)

Lisa Lee (MSJ93), senior vice president of creative and content for the Academy of Country Music died Aug. 21 after a battle with brain cancer. She was 52. Born Alicia Faye Young in Cabot, Arkansas, on Dec. 24, 1968, Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Medill. After graduation, Lee got a reporting job at Cabot Star-Herald newspaper.

One of her early jobs was at KTAL-TV, an NBC affiliate serving Texarkana and Shreveport, Louisiana, where she began to be interested in entertainment stories. Although her assignments covered a variety of topics, Lee eventually convinced station management to allow her to do movie reviews; she promptly constructed her own little critic’s corner set. She also started covering country music concerts and events in the Arkansas area and surrounding states at this time.

Lee started a friendship with a reporter/producer from Jim Owens and Associates, the Nashville-based production company behind TNN Country News at the time. Soon she was checking in with the folks at Jim Owens, updating them on all the entertainment pieces she was working on, while not so subtly working to convince them to hire her. Her persistence paid off when Jim Owens and Associates hired her, and she moved to Nashville to work for the company from 1995 to 1999.

In 2000, Lee moved to CMT and CMT.com as a news correspondent and producer.

Lee also had a calling to expand the social conversation. She wrote and produced the Prism Award-winning special Addicted to Addiction, as well as the TV news specials Sex in Videos: Where’s the Line and Controversy: Tammy Wynette.

In 2004, Lisa moved to Los Angeles, becoming the Hollywood-based correspondent and West Coast News Bureau Chief for CMT Insider, the network’s interview-driven news show, where she covered music, movies, and television.

In 2007, three years after her move to L.A., Lisa accepted the Academy of Country Music’s offer to draw on her experience as a TV journalist and producer to help the Academy establish and grow their own in-house creative and video production department. As the Academy’s lead staff producer, she oversaw all video production as well as the design, creation, and editing of ACM logos, digital and printed materials including ACM Tempo magazine, the ACM Awards program book, and both the ACM and ACM Lifting Lives websites.

With her long history of production and network teamwork, Lee served as a liaison with CBS television’s creative departments and CBS.com for promos and creative content surrounding the annual ACM Awards. She was named producer of the Academy of Country Music Honors, a live industry event dedicated to celebrating the Academy’s special award honorees, off-camera category winners, and ACM Industry and Studio Recording Awards winners. Held each year at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Lisa imbued the event with a real love for the people who go the extra mile to support, expand, and protect Country Music in its most creative places.

In 2014, Lee wrote and created This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards. The deeply researched coffee table book celebrated the 50 the anniversary of the ACM Awards and included a forward by Reba McEntire.

Photo: Courtesy Academy of Country Music

Source: MusicRow.com. Link to full obitutary.

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Richard “Dick” Stolley (BSJ52, MSJ53)

Alumnus Dick Stolley Dies at 92

Stolley is remembered as a magazine industry legend and founder of PEOPLE magazine

Watch a video of Dick Stolley talking about his Medill experience. 

Richard “Dick” Stolley (BSJ52, MSJ53) died peacefully in Evanston, Illinois, on June 16 with his family at his side. He was 92. Stolley was a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement of 1997 and a member of Medill’s Board of Advisers since its first meeting in 1984.

Stolley is remembered for his many historic career endeavors in magazine publishing and editing. At Medill, he is revered as a true friend and dedicated alumnus who was always willing to talk to and mentor students and alumni.

“Dick was not only a towering figure in 20th century journalism, he was a tremendous friend and supporter of Medill,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “The talks he gave to students about his legendary career were riveting. He generously lent his time and talent to every Medill dean who called upon him. He will be sorely missed.”

Dick Stolley talking to Cherubs
Stolley speaking to the Medill Cherubs on July 23, 2015. Photo credit: Sarahmaria Gomez

Stolley was the founding editor of PEOPLE magazine and a longtime writer and editor for Time Inc.

In a statement provided by Dan Wakeford, editor in chief of People, Wakeford said:

“Dick Stolley was a legendary editor whose vision and execution established the most successful magazine of all time that America fell in love with. He was an amazing journalist whose work and magazine craft we still refer to every day at PEOPLE as it’s still so relevant. He wrote in his first editor’s letter in 1974, ‘PEOPLE will focus entirely on the active personalities of our time-in all fields. On the headliners, the stars, the important doers, the comers, and on plenty of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary situations.’ And that is what we still do nearly 50 years later — we tell stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and extraordinary people doing ordinary things. I’m indebted to Dick for creating a magazine with heart that is a force for good and continues to change millions of lives.”

Stolley is also remembered for his work for Life magazine, where he pushed boundaries in his coverage of the fight for Civil Rights in the South and, most historically, for his success in obtaining the Abraham Zapruder footage of the assassination of JFK in Dallas in 1963.

Stolley described his first interaction with Zapruder in an article in Time magazine in 2013. Stolley explained that he located Zapruder by finding his listed number in the Dallas phone book.

“He politely explained that he was exhausted and overcome by what he had witnessed,” Stolley wrote. “The decision I made next turned out to be quite possibly the most important of my career. In the news business, sometimes you push people hard, unsympathetically, without obvious remorse (even while you may be squirming inside). Sometimes, you don’t. This, I felt intuitively, was one of those times you don’t push. I reminded myself: This man had watched a murder. I said I understood. Clearly relieved, Zapruder asked me to come to his office at 9 the next morning.”

Eventually, he was able to secure Zapruder’s footage for Life magazine for $50,000. That amount was bumped to $150,000 a week later to add additional rights for the magazine’s use of the film.

Stolley helped create PEOPLE magazine in 1973.  A test issue with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton gracing the cover “flew off the newsstands,” Stolley said in a 2015 interview, and the magazine launched in March 1974 with Stolley as editor.

“The one thing that I’ve always wanted to say, when we started, I said, this is not a celebrity magazine. This is personality journalism,” he said. “And we will be doing stories all over the world, which we did and still do, and it will be on all people in all walks of life. Some will be well known, some will not. Our motto was, ‘extraordinary people doing ordinary things, and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.’ And the formula worked then and still does.”

“Richard Stolley was a giant among journalists, one of the Medill School’s most accomplished alumni of all time,” said Roger Boye, associate professor emeritus-in-service. “His coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 for Life magazine, as well as of the civil rights movement in the South during the 1960s, will serve as models of initiative and professionalism for generations of journalists to come.  His entrepreneurial vision helped to bring about the founding of People magazine in 1974, with Dick as the magazine’s first managing editor.  He championed great story telling in journalism but only with meticulous attention to detail and total factual accuracy.  That is perhaps his greatest legacy.”

In addition to his roles at People magazine, Stolley was assistant managing editor and managing editor of Life magazine, as well as director of special projects for Time Inc.

Source: Medill and PEOPLE.com 6/17/2021
https://people.com/human-interest/richard-stolley-peoples-first-managing-editor-dies-at-92/

The family requests that gifts in memory of Dick Stolley be directed to the Medill School. Gifts may be made online or mailed to:

Northwestern University
Alumni Relations and Development, Gift Services
1201 Davis Street – Suite 1-400
Evanston, IL 60208-4410

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Judy Lyn Holland (MSJ87)

Judy Lyn Holland, 61, of Washington, D.C. passed away on April 19, 2021.

She was born Aug. 7, 1959, in Orange Heights, VT, the daughter of Harry and Barbara Holland of Hanover, NH and Vero Beach, FL. Judy was born in the family station wagon en route to the hospital, portending a life in constant motion. From a very young age, Judy adored books and kept a flashlight under the bed covers to read at night. She also displayed an early aptitude for performance and enlisted neighborhood children to put on shows in the family garage with a blanket as stage curtains. She later became an accomplished figure skater and continued to perform in college and as an adult.

She attended Hanover High School and graduated in 1977. Her first summer job was as a cashier at Dan & Whit’s General Store on the same block in Norwich, VT where she grew up. She continued her education at Middlebury College, where she graduated with a BA in 1981. From there, Judy taught English at a boarding school in Germany and studied Italian in Florence, becoming fluent in both languages. She worked as a paralegal in a New York City law firm before earning her master’s degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

During her 30-year journalism career, Judy was a newspaper reporter at the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum, Pa. and the Tampa Tribune in Florida before moving to Washington, DC to become a Capitol Hill correspondent for States News Service. She spent 13 years covering the US Senate and as national bureau editor at Hearst Newspapers, the storied newspaper chain that includes the Houston and San Francisco Chronicles and the Boston Globe. She won the Hearst Eagle Award, the chain’s highest honor. Judy was elected president of the National Press Club Foundation and was a member of the Capitol Speakers Club. She also appeared as a political commentator on cable TV news. Her stories appeared in dozens of publications.

She also was the founder and editor of parentinsider.com, an online magazine about parenting teens and wrote the book and podcast series HappiNest: Finding Fulfillment When Your Kids Leave Home.

Judy met her husband John K. Starr, an orthopedic surgeon, in 1982, when he was a medical student. They were together for nearly 40 years, married since 1990. Her true pride and joy were her beloved children, whom she taught determination, poise and empathy.

Judy is survived by her husband John, children Lindsay, 27, Maddie, 24, and Jack, 22, her parents; sister Mary Anne Holland, brothers Michael (Heidi); Joe (Becky); and Jim (Analea); sister-in-law Patricia Starr; nieces Jeannie, Greta, Hazel, Lizzie and Juniper; nephews Michael, Timothy, Hunter, Jake and Anders; maternal uncle, Don Johnston (Mary Margaret) and paternal uncle, Clark Holland.

Published in Valley News on May 2, 2021.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/vnews/obituary.aspx?n=judy-lyn-holland&pid=198511455&fhid=2167

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Linda Saran Remembers her Father, Medill Alumnus Sam Saran (BSJ50, MSJ50)

My Father was a complex man.  Unlike most of us, who try to conceal our flaws, he wore them prominently and proudly on his sleeve.  Who you saw was who you got.

He was a professional’s professional.  In the journalism world, he was the logistics reporter for any story he covered, never wavering in the chaos.  In the corporate world, he was the eye of the storm in a crisis.  He never shied from making decisions and doling orders.  The many accomplishments throughout his colorful career are summarized in his obituary.

Here, I will focus on, and celebrate, “Sam the Family Man”.  He and my dear mother Dena provided support to four generations.  As the children of immigrants, they gave to the best of their ability.  They always looked for needs and tried to fill them.

My Father showed, and stepped, up in any number of ways:  chief copy editor, career counselor, math tutor, 4th of July bike decorator, and letter writer on birthdays, holidays and during college years.

And then there were the fun and funny moments.

One Easter we opened what looked like a wooden toolbox, only to find a white poodle puppy, Si-Bon.  When we were little, we got airplane and horseback rides or, we got carried through the house while he called out something silly.

We had the blessing of watching him do the same with his grandchildren Thomas, Effie, Marina & Dena.  He loved to get down on the floor and give them horseback rides, build all kinds of architectural buildings, including the Acropolis, churches, libraries, the Arlington Race Track and whole little communities.  He loved practicing golf with them on the putting mat and looked forward to the annual fishing outing at Luther Village in Arlington Heights.  If my sister Laurie was in town, she had the dubious honor of preparing the hooks!  He taught the grandchildren the Greek alphabet, numbers, and many words.

One of my fondest memories is Saturday mornings in Sauganash.  Each Saturday, Dad would record his financial program from our den.  Laurie and I would beg to come in and he would let us, provided we were quiet.  Each Saturday, all it would take was one look, one mouthing of some provocatory sentence or one poke and the giggles would set in, uncontrollably.  Of course, they started silent, then rumbled through our bodies until they gasped out into the air.  We got a few “takes” and eventually, were dismissed.  Until next Saturday.  I’ve no idea how much time our shenanigans added to his process, but it sure was fun!

Another fond memory is of the Winter hockey playoffs.  Dad, my brother Don and I would follow the Chicago Black Hawks.  We had our own playoff on the tabletop game set up on the oversized marble coffee table in the den.  It was very competitive!  My parents were way ahead of their time in not limiting any one of us by gender.  So, I leaned in and played my little heart out and nobody let me win.  Yet, sometimes I did!  As I look back, that was a great training ground for many of the corporate antics I would later encounter throughout my career.  Dad supported Don’s hockey sport, which he took up.  Sometimes, they would skate at the park together.

They also shared a passion for music, particularly jazz.  All three of us took piano lessons, but Don was the gifted pianist.  Dad put on album after album and Don could start playing the piece by ear.  Mom played the piano, too.  Although Dad early dabbled at the guitar, he had always wanted to learn to play piano.

Dad always took an interest in Laurie’s and my musical ventures, our church and other choral groups, Laurie’s musicals and theatrical performances, and my CD’s recorded for Roy.  He also supported my artwork endeavors.  Laurie and Dad enjoyed watching all kinds of sports together, and once attended the Western Open Golf tournament.

As Greeks, we were all about our food, food, food!  Sunday after church meals at restaurants with our cousins and family friends.  Lockwood Castle sparklers for our birthdays.  Lou Malnati’s pizza.  Biasetti’s hamburgers.  Greek lamb wrapped in white paper at Easter, with the best feta and bread.  Coffeecake for Sunday breakfast.  Homemade Greek delicacies.  The funniest holiday tradition was at the Thanksgiving table, which was packed with our cousins and a few of my college friends who couldn’t get home.  We would take turns telling jokes just as a friend was taking a bite of the Kourabiedes…and wait for the powdered sugar to fly!  Tough crowd…

Our family saw much of the U.S.A, sometimes in a Chevrolet and other cars, and by plane.  Many vacations spent in Estes Park with our cousins and other family friends…California, the East Coast and others.  Among our most memorable in the early ‘60’s:  I was about five when we flew to New York.  Our sedan rental ended up being a mustang, which barely accommodated the five of us and our luggage.  It was unbelievably hot with no air conditioning.  Bodies and bags filled every square inch of that sports car.  It was on that trip that I developed my love of red MGs.  Back in the day of non-hovercraft parents, mine let cousin Zoe and her boyfriend, Tony, “adopt” me for the week, taking me to the beach, for subs and the carnival all in…you guessed it…Tony’s red MG.  We Sarans are all about our cars.  Dad purchased his last one in January 2020 and drove it to pick up his Mariano’s groceries just months before his passing.

One of our most memorable family vacations almost didn’t happen.  In 1984, I had tickets to join my parents in Greece, where they were celebrating their anniversary.  I got the idea to have Don and Laurie come as a surprise.  We hustled to make it happen.  I remember Don and I scrambling downtown to get his passport.  We barely made it in time for the flight, where Laurie was waiting for us.  Not to sound archaic, but that pre-dated cell phones so all of this drama happened with out communication or updates!  I asked my parents to meet me outside their hotel.  I remember walking toward them and, just as we met, Don and Laurie casually stepped out from behind a tree into our path.  They were shocked!  Of course, it never occurred to us we could give one of them a heart attack!

Among my fondest memories are of watching my parents dance, which they did any chance they got.  They could cut a rug with the best of them and lit up the dance floor!  They would both beam as they moved in synch with ease.  Now that Dad also has received his “angel” wings they’re doing a different kind of dance.

Godspeed, Dad…

Linda Saran 2021
Northwestern University B.A./M.S.C.

 

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Margaret “Margo” Gordon (BSJ61, MSJ62)

Alumna and former Medill faculty member Margaret “Margo” Gordon died peacefully on April 1, 2021 in Seattle.

Gordon was born in Dixon, Ill. While in high school, she attended the Medill Cherubs summer program. After graduation from Aurora High School, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Northwestern and would go on to have a lifelong affiliation with the University. She earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from Medill and then a Ph.D. in sociology, also at Northwestern. She later served as a professor at Medill and, from 1980 to 1988, as director of the Center for Urban Affairs.

Between her various degrees, she spent three years in Nsukka, Nigeria with her first husband, Halfdan Johnson. While there, Margo helped students at the University of Nigeria start a student-run newspaper, the “Nsukka Record,” the first of its kind. It is still published today as “The Record,” a major national Nigerian newspaper. She also lived for a year in Aarhus, Denmark and worked as a reporter and editor for the Chattanooga Times and the St. Petersburg Times before returning to Evanston to complete her Ph.D.

In one of her classes, she met Andy Gordon. They married soon after and both went on to spend nearly 20 years as professors and, in Margo’s case, as a university administrator, at Northwestern. During that time, Margo authored or co-authored several books, including the widely acclaimed “The Female Fear” and “The Journalism of Outrage: Investigative Reporting and Agenda Building in America.”

In 1989, Margo and Andy were recruited to the University of Washington. Margo became Dean of the Graduate School of Public Affairs (now known as the Evans School), which she directed until she retired. She was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement inaugural class in 1997.

Margo will be remembered for bringing out the best in people and figuring out how to support them as a friend, professor, university administrator, dean or family member.

“She left no doubt with her friends and family how much she cared about them and was always her authentic caring self,” says Andy. “Margo really did have a twinkle in her eye and an enthusiasm that was infectious. She was also tenacious and fought fiercely on behalf of journalistic values, including at the Center, where an interdisciplinary team she pulled together co-authored a book on investigative reporting,” he adds.

“From the time of my recruitment until Margo left Northwestern, she was a mentor, colleague, co-author and role model for me,” says Medill Emeritus Professor Donna Leff. “She brought me in to the Center for Urban Affairs and led a communications research group there that produced coauthored work in journalism and policy—media influence in setting social and policy agendas. Margo’s seminal early work identified the connection between media coverage of rape and the way victims of sexual violence were treated by the criminal justice system and by society more generally.” Leff adds, “Her husband Andy is right—everyone liked the always smiling Margo.”

Medill Associate Professor Emeritus George Harmon was on the full-time faculty with Gordon from 1980 to when she left for Washington. “Anyone who met Margo knew instantly that hers was an incisive and inquisitive mind, interested in nearly everything,” Harmon says. “She was a delightful, supportive colleague on the faculty. Perhaps best of all, she was constantly cheerful.”

Medill Professor Jack Doppelt marvels that Margo and Andy lived inspiring lives – “companion scholars in related fields, both revered on campus, who left indelible impressions; Margo with her uplifting nature, Andy with his robust laugh.”

Margo is survived by her husband Andy, children Sarah (Scott) and Seth (Bootsy), brother Joe (Barbara), grandchildren Carenna and Drake, and many wonderful friends and family members. Her family is grateful that they were able to be with her in her final days despite COVID-19.

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Medill remembers Bob Mulholland (BSJ55, MSJ56), former NBC president and Medill faculty member

Robert “Bob” Mulholland, Medill alumnus and former Medill professor and broadcast chair, died peacefully March 9 in Naples, Florida. He was 87.

Mulholland received his bachelor’s degree at Medill in 1955 and his master’s in 1956. After serving for two years in the U.S. Army in Korea, his career was spent in broadcasting, most of it with NBC. He joined NBC in 1961 as a news writer in the network’s Chicago station, WMAQ-TV. Twenty years later, he was named president and chief operating officer of the entire company. In the intervening years, Mulholland worked in the NBC News London bureau; was the Washington producer for the well-known “Huntley-Brinkley Report;” was director of news for KNBC, the NBC-owned station in Los Angeles; was executive producer of the “NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor;” and was executive vice president of NBC News.

“Bob’s contributions to Medill are still seen today through our outstanding broadcast journalism program,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “His legacy lives through all the students who use his lessons to share some of today’s most important stories. We will forever be thankful for his talent and tenacity, and grateful that he chose to share it with Medill.”

Mulholland was named president of the NBC network in 1976, and in 1981, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer, assuming additional responsibility for the company’s five owned television stations, as well as the news, sports and radio divisions. He left NBC in 1984.

Mulholland returned to his alma mater in 1988, where he is credited with revamping and revitalizing Medill’s broadcast program.

David Nelson, associate professor emeritus and Mulholland’s colleague and friend, recalled, “A grin that welcomed you as a friend. A heart open to all. A commitment to journalistic accuracy and fairness. And an exceptional intellect sprinkled with curiosity. Bob Mulholland was special. Really special.

“I got to know him for 50 years, he admirably remained the same person – in the board room, in the classroom, on the golf course or tennis court. And, oh, did I mention his sense of humor? About 20 years ago Bob and I helped Dillon Smith drive his antique Bentley from Chicago to Naples. I drove. Dillon directed. Bob sat in the luxurious back with teak table down, food and beverages at the ready. Several times cars and even trucks would slow down to see who was in this Rolls Royce. Dillon would say: ‘Bob, another one’s coming up on the left and looking.’ Bob would grab the Grey Poupon mustard jar from the table, hold it out the window and flash that smile that could stretch from New York to Los Angeles. We played like high school kids all the way to Florida.”

While at Medill, Mulholland was named in the 1952 and 1953 Syllabus yearbooks as one of the top members of the varsity rifle team. At the time, he chose a letter blanket instead of a jacket, but upon returning to Medill to teach, he decided he would like a jacket.

“How many faculty members have an NU letter jacket?” he told the Daily in September of 1989, adding, “Now I can’t wait for the cold.”

That same year, Mulholland spearheaded the expansion of Medill’s quarter-long externship program, then called Teaching Newspaper, to include television stations. He was adamant that the students have a chance to do real broadcast work, telling the Daily Northwestern, “I would like them to go to smaller stations where they will do everything. I don’t want them to go into Chicago where they’ll just stand and watch.” The first five students were placed into television stations in the fall quarter of 1990.

It was also during Mulholland’s tenure that a new studio building was constructed in partnership with the School of Speech, now School of Communication. The building, John J. Louis Hall, opened in the fall of 1991 and featured a state-of-the-art broadcast studio for Medill students, complete with fold-out bleachers so students could watch the productions and carrels for the student reporters to write their stories.

“Bob and I have been friends from the time we met at Medill in 1956,” said friend and MSJ classmate Al Borcover. “From the outset, he was a friendly, professional, humble, funny guy. He was a great scrounger. Shortly after he joined the Medill faculty, I recall that he was able to get a satellite dish (I believe from WGN) to provide live feeds for his students, and an anchor desk that was being discarded by Channel 5. Bob was always a hands-on guy. He was a pro at Medill, WGN, NBC and throughout his life.”

In the spring of 1992, Mulholland spoke to a group of Northwestern students in the Communications Residential College. His talk, “Television in the year 2000,” covered five decades of TV history and included some prophetic forecasts for the future. Accurately, he predicted that fiber-optic cable would create thousands of available channels and total viewer control. “New technology may also allow viewers to ‘punch up’ any program they want, at any time of the day, for a fee,” Mulholland told the students.

Medill Professor Emeritus Donna Leff headed the search committee for Mulholland’s replacement. “​Bob Mulholland was a consummate broadcast professional who brought distinction, honor and considerable joy to Medill,” Leff said. “Although famous, and truly accomplished at the highest levels of network television when network television was the industry’s gold standard, Bob was a dedicated, accessible and beloved teacher.”

He retired from Medill in 1993 and was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement’s inaugural class in 1997.

Mulholland is survived by his wife, Judith, of Naples, Florida, daughter, Leslie (Leigh) Anderson (Chris) of Amherst, New Hampshire, son, Todd Mulholland (Licet) of Naples, Florida and stepsons, Michael Holleran of Warrenton, Virginia and Matthew Holleran of Menlo Park and San Francisco, Calif. and seven grandchildren.

Mulholland met Judith while he was working at Medill after NBC. Shortly after, they both retired and moved to Naples, Florida.

About their joint retirement, Judith said, “We took up golf, something neither of us had tried before, and Bob discovered gardening. He loved working in the yard. He enjoyed creating beds of plants, many of which he shared with others and others shared with him. On March 23, we will have been married 30 years.”

About his distinguished career, Judith said, “Bob had an exciting career at NBC, eventually becoming President. During his years there, he helped launch the careers of Tom Brokaw, Bryant Gumbel and Tom Snyder. He negotiated Johnny Carson’s contract in Johnny’s kitchen after one difficult season, just the two of them.”

Photo: Mulholland on the roof of Kresge Hall with new studio building in the background. Undated photo courtesy of the NU Archives. 

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Peter Jacobi (BSJ52, MSJ53) – Medill Professor and Associate Dean

Peter Jacobi (BSJ52, MSJ53), former longtime Medill professor and associate dean, died on December 24, 2019. He was 89. Jacobi was a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement of 1997 and served on the Medill faculty from 1955 to 1981. He joined the journalism faculty at Indiana University in 1985.

Jacobi’s two guidebooks, “The Magazine Article: How to Think It, Plan It, Write It” and “Writing with Style: The News Story and the Feature,” are standard reference sources for journalists. In 2006 Jacobi received the School of Continuing Studies Teaching Excellence Award from Indiana University.

Jacobi was professor emeritus of journalism at Indiana University and a regular reviewer/contributor to The Herald-Times in Bloomington up until his death.

The final installment of his local newspaper column, “Music Beat,” appeared on Dec. 15, 2019 and previewed that afternoon’s Bloomington Chamber Singers’ performance of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah.”

Peter Paul Jacobi was born March 15, 1930, in Berlin and came to the United States at age 8.

Jacobi joined the Medill faculty in 1955, working his way up from a professional lecturer to his position as associate dean. After leaving Medill in 1985, he worked as a consultant before joining the Indiana faculty where the taught until receiving emeritus status in 2017.
Jacobi was a member of the American Association of University Professors, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Society of Professional Journalists, Arts Midwest, the Bloomington Community Arts Commission and the Indiana Arts Commission, where he was chairman from 1990 to 1993.

He is survived by two sons, Keith Jacobi and Wyn Jacobi, and three grandchildren. Jacobi’s wife, Hattie, whom he met more than 70 years ago, died on Sept. 30, 2019.

Faculty remembrances of Peter Jacobi:
Roger Boye, Associate Professor Emeritus-in-Service
Peter Jacobi was a master teacher, a brilliant lecturer, the proverbial “scholar and a gentleman.” Generations of Medill students owe so much to this man.
I once heard him give a lecture in mid summer in an un-airconditioned room with no slides or visual aids to nearly 100 people who listened in rapt attention for 90 minutes. He was that good.
In 1972, he did a piece for Quill magazine on what it means to be a teacher of journalism, still the best article of its kind ever written. Subconsciously, he must have been describing himself when he wrote:
“To be a journalism teacher at college or high school level, one must be alert to life and living, an embracer of imagination, open to suggestion, free and careful with advice, scholarly in one’s approach to constant and persistent learning.

“A teacher who truly teaches is unsparing of time and the expenditure of energy toward students, helpful, encouraging, young in thought and receptivity, gently authoritative, flexible, never satisfied with himself.
“The journalism teacher has learned to practice his profession and continues to practice it; he does not teach from textbooks. He’s thought about journalism’s glories and its flaws. He has the missionary zeal to improve a human activity that he loves.”
Just a few weeks before the 1978 national convention of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the speaker for the awards banquet cancelled, leaving organizers scrambling for a replacement. They asked Peter Jacobi based entirely on his reputation; they had never before heard him speak. And as the big event drew closer, they began second-guessing their decision. But Peter did not let them down. He received a rousing standing ovation from several hundred journalists—the only one of six major speakers during that convention so honored. The Quill magazine ran his speech as its cover story in January 1979.
“In our search for the abnormal, the unusual, the eccentric, the different, don’t just look for those people and happenings that are abnormally bad, usually awful, eccentrically negative, differently evil,” he told the convention. “Look for what and who are abnormally good, unusually useful, abnormally fascinating, differently inspirational. Look for good news, in other words, not just bad. But look for news more than we look for pap.”
He also called on journalists to “love words. Sure, appreciate pictures, film, tape. But love words. As long as we remember the value of words and fight viciously against cheapening them, then we’re likely to treat the press with the kind of respect that defeats abuse. Looking toward tomorrow, abuse abuse. In fact, stamp it out.”

David Nelson, Associate Professor Emeritus
In 1964 I learned to take risks in writing: Peter Jacobi taught that class. In 1968 I learned that in any creative craft it’s OK to make a fool of yourself as you experiment and grow in that effort: Peter Jacobi taught that class. When I learned of his death, I remembered that Prof. Jacobi introduced me to Beethoven. Naturally, I played “Missa Solemnis” in tribute.

https://www.hoosiertimes.com/herald_times_online/news/local/journalist-and-music-reviewer-peter-jacobi-dies-at/article_31d5ca8a-2821-11ea-95c2-13a214232720.html

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Darran Simon (MSJ04)

Published in the Washington Post – April 10, 2020

Byline: Adam Bernstein, Washington Post
Photo: Darran Simon while at CNN Digital. (Jeremy Freeman/CNN)

Darran Simon, a journalist who developed an expertise reporting on trauma during a wide-ranging career that had recently brought him to The Washington Post, where he covered District politics and government, died April 9, 2020. He was 43.

Simon was born in England and spent his childhood in the South American nation of Guyana and in New Jersey. In his professional life, he displayed restless curiosity as well as deep compassion for people who had endured natural catastrophe and man-made violence.

“I am drawn to writing about suffering and trauma,” he once noted, “because I am in awe of the human spirit’s ability to persevere.”
After two years as the Miami Herald’s minority affairs reporter, he moved to New Orleans in 2007 as an education reporter for the Times-Picayune, compelled to document the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “Down the road, 35 years from now, when memories are all I have,” he told the University of Rhode Island alumni magazine, “I’ll be able to look back at this time and remember this experience.”

He wrote about school reconstruction and covered accountability issues as well as the upending of students’ lives in a city of dramatic inequities even before the storm. “History often depends on who is telling it,” he said. “My role is to try to understand it and paint a full picture.”

A reserved and conscientious reporter, he went on to cover crime for the Philadelphia Inquirer, was a general assignment reporter for Newsday, and was a senior writer with CNN Digital in Atlanta focusing on national and international breaking news before starting March 2 on The Post’s Metro staff.

In covering the city government’s preparations for handling the coronavirus outbreak, he reported on official pronouncements as well as delivering humane accounts of local victims of the disease, including a former “Jeopardy” contestant.

“Darran had an immediate impact at The Post with his talent, grace and earnest devotion to his work,” said Mike Semel, The Post’s top metro editor. “He was here barely a week when the city he was covering shut down because of coronavirus. But he forged ahead and found great stories to tell.

“Despite his short tenure,” Semel continued, “we entrusted him to write the main coronavirus news story several times over the past couple of weeks — taking feeds from his colleagues and weaving those into a coherent story. He worked so well with everyone and was a graceful, fluid writer. But beyond that, he was just a nice guy with an electric smile.”

Darran Anthony Simon was born in London to Guyanese students on March 18, 1977. He lived in Guyana until he was 9 before the family settled in Iselin, N.J. His mother is a middle-school teacher and his father, an accountant, is a securities regulator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

At the University of Rhode Island, Simon was on the men’s track and field team, won awards for student leadership and shared a top prize from the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists for a comparative study on black student activism in the 1970s and the 1990s. He graduated in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in English and, energized by his work on the campus newspaper, received a master’s degree in 2004 from Northwestern University’s journalism school.
His marriage to Karin Pryce ended in divorce. Survivors include his parents, Stephen Simon and Jacqueline Simon, both of Iselin; a brother; a sister; and a grandmother.

Simon brought particular sensitivity to follow-up interviews after a tragedy that served to humanize statistics. One example, for CNN, was a profile of the spiritual leader who took over the flock of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., after a white supremacist killed nine members, including its pastor, in 2015.

In July 2019, Simon was among 15 journalists chosen from about 300 applicants for the week-long Ochberg Fellowship at Columbia University journalism school’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
Dart Center Executive Director Bruce Shapiro called him a “quiet, curious and very deeply engaged journalist” who had spent years writing about survivors of violence in some of the toughest cities in the United States, from New Orleans to Camden, N.J., and how they cope with those experiences.

For all his drive to make loss more intimate, or perhaps because of it, Mr. Simon was also known as a roving epicure with a sharp understated cool to his wardrobe and an ear for sumptuous music. On his website,  Simon described himself as a “a foodie and a jazz lover who will travel anywhere for a good meal and a horn section.”