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1990s Featured Legacies Legacies

Tom Perrotta (BSJ98)

Thomas “Tom” Perrotta, 44,  of Brooklyn, NY, passed away peacefully at home on January 6, 2021. He was the beloved husband of Rachel Kane and father to Paul and Sean. Born in Providence, he was the son of Norma (Rattenni) Perrotta and the late Leo Perrotta.

In addition to his wife and sons, he is survived by his siblings Leo J. Perrotta (Debbie) of Portsmouth, Michael Perrotta (Rhonda) of Cranston, Lisa Hanch (David Lefort) of North Providence, Patricia Martineau (John) of Johnston and John Perrotta of North Providence. He also leaves 2 nieces and 3 nephews.

Tom attended North Providence High School and received his undergraduate degree from Medill. He became a freelance sportswriter, specializing in tennis, and wrote for several publications, including the Wall Street Journal. He traveled extensively around the world to cover tennis tournaments. It was his “dream job,” but his first love was his family. He treasured his visits to Rhode Island, returning often for holidays and other family gatherings, summertime visits to Charlestown beach and stops at Mr. Lemon for lemonade.

Tom was a loving and generous person who always went out of his way to help friends and colleagues. His memory will be cherished by all who knew him.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/providence/name/thomas-perrotta-obituary?pid=197496652

Read a tribute from Sports Illustrated: https://www.si.com/tennis/2021/01/13/mailbag-tennis-writer-tom-perrotta-tribute-2021-season

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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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1980s Featured Legacies Featured Legacies Home Legacies

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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1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Sam H. Saran (BSJ50, MSJ50)

As published in the Chicago Sun-Times on Feb. 21, 2021

The world just got a little quieter. Sam H. Saran passed away at the age of 97 on Feb. 1, 2021. He began his career in journalism and remained curious about everything until the very end. He never lost the impulse to report…on everything from family doings, the weather, the logistics of any trip you might be taking, and the market to current events. Most conversations began with, “So what can you tell me today?” “Sam the family man” survived both wife Dena (Chiodras) of 48 years, with whom he had three children, and Thora (nee Clark) who passed away in September. He was loving Father to Don (Margie), Linda (Roy) and Laurie (Angelos), and beloved Papou to grandchildren Thomas, Effie, Marina and Dena.

An only child, he began supporting his parents at the age of 12. He lived in Chicago his entire life, except for 3 ½ years of service in WWII where he was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II, and later transferred to serve as a B-29 Bombardier with the 346 th Bomb Group on Okinawa. He separated as a First Lieutenant in 1946. With the G.I. Bill, Sam completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Medill in 3 ½ years, while working part-time as a typesetter with the printer who gave him his first job, following graduation from Lane Technical High School in 1941.

A 40-year veteran Chicago broadcast news writer, reporter, commentator at NBC News, Sam began his career as financial news writer-editor. During his 13 years with NBC, he produced news documentaries, and delivered newscasts on local and network programs, specifically for a nightly radio stock market and business report and a weekly television series, “Invest in America”. He also served as reporter-at-large for the WMAQ series, “Night Desk”, and on numerous NBC network news assignments including the national political conventions of 1956 and 1960. In 1959, Sam wrote, produced and directed an hour-long television documentary on the first anniversary of the tragic Our Lady of Angels school fire, “It Must Never Happen Again.”

As a financial broadcaster he was cited as Man of the Year in 1960 by the Stock Brokers’ Associates, and also was cited by the Chicago Federated Advertising Club and the American Bankers Association. Among the dignitaries/celebrities Sam interviewed during his years: Senator John F. Kennedy, (TV City Desk), Maria Callas (News on the Spot), Al Capone, Mayor Richard Daley, Elizabeth Taylor and others… While a public relations executive at Northwestern University, Sam secured two major gifts to the University’s Evanston campus—the O.T. Hogan Biological Sciences Building and Nathaniel Leverone Hall in the Kellogg School of Management—from two CEO guests who appeared on his TV broadcasts.

For 22 years, he served as Director of Corporate Communications/Assistant to the CEO for Inland Steel Industries, Inc. In 1968, he was cited by Institutional Investor magazine, the leading financial analyst publication, for the best industry report for nine consecutive years, a distinction held by only three other companies. By today’s standards, Sam would have been labeled a “foodie”. Having grown up with Greek immigrant family/friend grocery merchants, one of his first jobs was stocking in a grocery store. During the Pandemic, very detailed grocery order lists were dictated and inventoried after picking them up in the car he purchased only a year ago or, later, when being delivered. We could always count on a performance review! Sam was a lover of music and a jazz aficionado, enjoying his Saturday and Sunday lunches to Big Band and other standards from the Greatest Generation era. In later years, he viewed services from Christ Church, Oak Brook, where he was where he was a member for decades. He also had a passion for golf, which he enjoyed throughout his adult life. With this, his last report is filed.

https://legacy.suntimes.com/obituaries/chicagosuntimes/obituary.aspx?n=sam-h-saran&pid=197777796&fhid=6139

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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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Abhinanda Datta (MSJ18)

Reprinted from Patch.com. Byline: Eric DeGrechie, Patch Staff

Abhinanda Datta died unexpectedly Wednesday, March 17, in Evanston. She was 28.

Datta is survived by her parents, Amitabha and Sahana, of Kolkata, West Bengal (India); her beloved dog, Muffin; elder sister, Aanandita, of Mumbai, Maharashtra (India); and her brother-in-law, Pranay Rao.

Datta was born and raised in India. Her grandfather, Dr. Amaresh Datta, was an eminent Shakespearean scholar and Abhinanda took after him with a great interest in English literature, according to her family. The elder Datta died last August at the age of 101, and a state funeral was held in his honor.

“Writing has always been a passion, but when I learned about the abuse women my age faced, I decided to forego fictional stories to write about those who needed to be heard,” Abhinanda Datta once wrote. “That is how at the age of 14 I decided that I would dedicate my life to making a difference.”

Even before graduating from high school, Datta started having her work published. She reported on topics like the abuse of women, yoga and India’s 60th year of independence, while also critiquing books, films and music for The Telegraph in Schools, the largest student-run newspaper in East India.

“She had a natural gift of the gab, and had an excellent command over her English. This helped her to be a meticulous editor,” said Biswanath Dasgupta, editor-in-charge, The Telegraph In Schools. “An excellent artist, she blossomed on the pages of her paper TTIS with beautiful illustrations/doodles for poems short stories and cover stories.”

Datta received a high school degree from Our Lady Queen of the Missions in 2011, where she studied English, history, political science and economics. She was also involved with the drama team, school band and editorial board at the school in Kolkata.

At Jadavpur University in Kolkata, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2014 and a master’s degree in English Literature two years later. After graduation, she was a retainer for the books page of The Telegraph where she wrote stories on books and authors.

In 2017, Datta was a journalism resident for Cape Argus in Cape Town, South Africa.

After Medill, she began working for 22nd Century Media and eventually became an editor for the media company that was formerly based out of the suburbs of Chicago. Datta worked there until the company folded in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Datta’s work has also appeared in The Huffington Post, Medill News Service, Medill Justice Project and Chicago Magazine.

After the closure of 22nd Century Media, Datta became a field editor for Patch, a national media company based out of New York City. At the time of her death, she was covering the Illinois communities of Plainfield, Oswego, Bolingbrook and Romeoville for Patch.

“Abhinanda joined Patch in the early days of the pandemic, a strange time for us all, but she dove right in without missing a beat, covering the chaos of the early days of COVID-19,” said Shannon Antinori, regional manager and Abhinanda’s manager at Patch.

During her time at Patch, Datta received much recognition for her work, which included reporting on countless bars and restaurants trying to survive during the pandemic, animal rescue, important community fundraisers and corruption in government.

Datta, who was also an artist, said about this piece created earlier this month, “Couldn’t throw away these lovely flowers I received a few weeks ago. So, I turned them into art.” (Courtesy of the Datta Family)

“I have a yearly book challenge, so I read. My goal for this year is 100 Abhinanda’s sister, Aanandita, said she modeled while in college.

“Most people will remember her for her love for animals, her artwork, her fierce passion for causes,” Aanandita Datta and Pranay Rao said in an email to Patch. “She obviously loved writing. In books, horror, fantasy and romance were her favorite genres. Stephen King and Virginia Woolf were among her favorite authors. We also connected on our angst with George R. Martin not writing the next ‘Game of Thrones’ book.”

A company-wide virtual memorial service was held for Datta at Patch on March 18. Her reporting and artwork were featured as her colleagues and management reflected on her time with the company.

“I was just absolutely blown away by her skills and how she put them to use at Patch,” said Lauren Traut, managing editor at Patch. “She will be greatly missed. She was such a bright spot.”

A funeral service was held March 19 at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago. The service was broadcast live via Zoom for family members and friends unable to attend.

Datta was cremated after the funeral, according to family. Her ashes will be sent to India in the future for a puja, a worship ritual performed by Hindus.

Datta’s family said she leaves behind some books and “loads of artwork” as her main possessions. They are looking to donate her books to a charity and her money to an animal welfare group in the near future.

Photo courtesy of the Datta family.

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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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1980s Featured Legacies Legacies

Ed Filipowski (BSJ83)

Ed Filipowski, co-chairman and chief strategist for fashion public relations firm KCD, died at home on Jan. 10, 2020. He was 58.

Filipowski was raised in a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania, where his father was a steelworker. Realizing early on that he had a talent for writing, Filipowski started working for the local newspaper as well as the high school paper and radio station. “I was attracted to anything media-related, and I was driven to be a journalist,” he said in a story for the Medill magazine in 2014. He knew Medill was the best journalism school, so he borrowed money from his sister for the application fee. “I was fortunate to get in the door,” he said in the Medill article, adding that he received nearly a full scholarship.

Fashion, too, was always in the back of his mind. In Evanston, Filipowski immersed himself in campus life, joining Theta Chi fraternity, the activities and organizations board, and The Daily Northwestern, where he edited the first fashion supplement.

After graduation, he moved to New York City and shared an apartment with a friend he met at NU, Rachel Sparer. Another NU alum, Jack Taylor, hired him as an assistant account executive in the rapidly growing ad agency Jordan, Case, Taylor & McGrath. There, Filipowski developed a solid understanding of brand strategy and product storytelling in a short period of time.

He heard about KCD through a friend, and when the company landed a big client, he sent partner Kezia Keeble a bouquet with a congratulatory note. The flowers led to a meeting, which led to a job offer. Over the next few years, he gained an understanding of the inner workings of the fashion industry from Keeble, a former Vogue editor. He also learned about fashion criticism from the firm’s other partner, and NU alumnus John Duka (BSJ71), a former style reporter for The New York Times. KCD’s goal was to get fashion covered more seriously in the media beyond tabloid headlines.

In 1990, Filipowski, along with colleague Julie Mannion, informally inherited the firm, working alongside Cavaco following the deaths of Duka and Keeble in 1989 and 1990, respectively. In 1991, Filipowski and Mannion were named partners of the agency, and renamed the firm KCD to honor the founders.

KCD’s celebrated portfolio of clients over the years included names such as Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano at Maison Margiela, Versace, Givenchy, Tory Burch, Helmut Lang,  Anna Sui, Victoria Beckham, Balmain, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Brandon Maxwell,and Prabal Gurung.

“When I’m standing with Sarah Burton at McQueen, and she’s taking me through her thought process, I can’t believe my life. It’s a privilege,” Filipowksi said in his Medill magazine interview.  “I’m very personal and hands-on,” he added. “I tell everybody when they’re hired, ‘We will give back to you double what you give to us, because I want this to be a personally and professionally fulfilling experience for you.’”

He attributed his success at his agency to the knowledge and values he learned at Medill. “If you have good personal and professional values, and you work really hard, and if you’re good to people you work with and meet, it just happens,” he said.

Over the last several years, Filipowski visited Medill numerous times to talk with students about his career, and KCD hosted a Medill journalism residency (JR) student in 2018. He generously supported the Ed Filipowski Student Experience Fund for students on JR and he served as the co-chair of his 35th reunion committee.