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Media Contact:
Pegeen Hopkins
Director of Communications
(312) 222-5022

CHICAGO, February 23, 2005

The McCormick Tribune Foundation, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, announced that its board of directors approved $5.4 million in grants to Northwestern University to create a McCormick Tribune Leadership Scholars program for students at the Medill School of Journalism (Medill) and the Kellogg School of Management (Kellogg).

The scholarships, designed to educate a new generation of leaders for the news media, continue the foundation’s long tradition of support for journalism-related programs at Northwestern. These grants bring to almost $32 million the amount the foundation has awarded to these programs in the 50 years since the foundation was created in 1955.

Eighty full-tuition merit scholarships will be awarded over the next ten years, sixty for Medill students and twenty for Kellogg students. They will be awarded based on leadership potential and commitment to a career in the news media.

"The news media, which play such a vital role in our democracy, face a host of challenges in coming years. To succeed, the media will need bright, committed and well-trained young people, capable of rising to leadership positions. No school in the country does a better job of preparing journalism’s future leaders than Northwestern," said Vivian Vahlberg, director of the foundation’s journalism program.

Col. Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune and founder of McCormick Tribune Foundation, and his cousin, Joseph Patterson, provided the funds to create the Medill School in 1921 to train talented and responsible journalists. They named the institution in honor of their grandfather, Joseph Medill, and McCormick ardently supported its growth and development during his lifetime.

"As the foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary, the McCormick Tribune Scholarship grants allow us to honor and commemorate the longstanding partnership between McCormick and the journalism programs at Northwestern," said Richard Behrenhausen, president and chief executive officer of the foundation. "We are proud to support an organization that the Colonel himself held in such high esteem. And cultivation of leaders among journalism students is an integral part of our journalism program’s mission."

This is not the first time that foundation scholarships have been awarded at Medill. For more than thirty years, from McCormick’s death in 1955 through the mid-1980s, the foundation supported a McCormick scholarships program at Medill, similar in some ways to the new program. In the mid-1980s, the program was discontinued, as the foundation shifted its attention to improvement of Medill’s physical facilities.

Two grants were awarded this week: $3.1 million to Medill and $2.3 million to the Media Management Center (MMC), which runs the media management major at Kellogg. MMC is affiliated with both Medill and Kellogg.

Each year for ten years, the grants will provide full-tuition, four-quarter scholarships for six Medill graduate journalism students, starting in the fall of 2005, and full-tuition, three-quarter scholarships for two Kellogg media management majors, starting in the summer of 2006. Funds are also provided to enable some Kellogg scholars to pursue summer work and research in the news media.

The grant also funds a special event in 2006 for scholars from both the old and new programs, and ongoing post-graduation management education through periodic retreats to be conducted by MMC starting in 2008.

The nearly $32 million awarded by the foundation to Northwestern’s journalism programs since 1955 includes $23.7 million to Medill, $7.1 million to MMC and $1 million to the Institute for Modern Communications for facilities used by Medill. This is in addition to the personal contributions McCormick made to Medill during his lifetime.

The McCormick Tribune Foundation has a long tradition of supporting organizations that enrich the lives of the American people. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, along with the McCormick Tribune Scholarship grants, the foundation will sponsor a wide variety of one-time, special initiatives designed to further the foundation's commitments in the areas of journalism, communities, education and citizenship.

About the McCormick Tribune Foundation

The McCormick Tribune Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charitable organizations, with combined assets of close to $2 billion. In 2004 the foundation approved the distribution of more than $109 million to invest in communities, address human needs and promote the ideals of a democratic society through innovative partnerships. The foundation, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2005, was first established as a charitable trust upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

The foundation provides assistance in four program areas — communities, education, journalism and citizenship — and funds a special initiatives program. Through its grants, the foundation seeks to improve the social and economic environment; encourage a free and responsible discussion of issues affecting the nation; enhance the effectiveness of American education; and stimulate responsible citizenship. For more information, visit http://www.mccormicktribune.org/.