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College of Information and Communications

School of Journalism and Mass Communications marks centennial with festivities and fundraising efforts

USC's School of Journalism and Mass Communications celebrated its centennial this year with events throughout the 2023-24 academic year for alumni, students and friends.

Founded in 1923, the SJMC is part of the College of Information and Communications. To honor its history and achievements, school organized events for alumni, current students and supporters, with opportunities for donations to support future initiatives.

“Each of the events celebrating the centennial provided opportunities to reflect on the impact of the people that make this place special,” says J. Scott Parker, communications director for the college. “The main message we want people to take away from the SJMC Centennial events is that everyone who ever studied here is still a part of this institution.”

The kick-off event for the school's birthday was the Centennial Celebration Cockaboose on Oct. 14, 2023, at Williams-Brice Stadium. This event allowed alumni and friends to stop by Cockaboose 14 on the game day against the University of Florida to reconnect and celebrate their SJMC education. There was a special performance by the Carolina Marching Band and free centennial rally towels and koozies.


More recently, the school held its Centennial Student Celebration on April 11, as students marked 100 years of accomplishments with food, games, and a DJ on the lawn between SJMC and the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio.

Second-year journalism student Michael Gaither, says, “The J-school has been great for so long for so many people and has provided students with an abundance of great resources. It has great professors who care deeply about their students and great advisors who help with scheduling and internships.”


Earlier in April, students and alumni gathered for the Centennial Gala at the Pastides Alumni Center and were encouraged to purchase tickets to support SJMC initiatives such as new study abroad programs, technology and instructor training. The gala theme was Dance Through the Decades, and guests were encouraged to dress according to the decade in which they attended the school.

Parker added, “It created an opportunity for alumni and retired faculty to engage in conversations with current faculty and staff. There was a lot of reminiscing about experiences in the (Carolina) Coliseum (where the journalism school was housed until 2015) and enthusiasm for the new facility that today’s students enjoy.”

Alumni and friends of the college are supporting the Centennial with donations which will provide future opportunities for students, such as AI instruction and study abroad experiences without program fees.

Tom Reichert, dean of the college, believes students must be exposed to the state-of-the-art equipment which they will use when they join the workforce. “We are always investing quite a bit in the greatest cameras and audio-visual equipment. We bought one satellite pack for the journalism major for senior semester, and they asked for another one.” 

But Reichert believes that today's students need more than just a how-to education. “Enhancing our social awareness is increasingly important. We have been able to create a study abroad opportunity with no program fee. It is in June, and you get to go to Barcelona for a month, you get six hours of credit, and you get that culture.”

But technology and travel come with a cost. The Centennial Celebration created two options for alumni and friends to contribute to the school's future: The SJMC 100th Anniversary Fund and The SJMC Centennial Scholarship Fund. More info or donate»

The first fund is geared to funding the resources of the SJMC through technology, equipment and study abroad opportunities. The second option creates scholarships for high-achieving students to further their education. This fund also gives donors who contribure $1,000 or more recognition on the SJMC donor wall of fame with a nameplate to honor their contributions.  

students wearing glasses

The  school's history dates to 1900, after a 23-year-long struggle for its approval, with W.W. Ball as the first dean. Over the next 100 years, the school would move locations, change its name, add majors and develop opportunities for all students. 

Today, the SJMC offers scholarships, career services, graduate assistantships, internships, mentor matches, practicum, research, professional organization and study abroad opportunities for students. Students get real-world experience in classes like Carolina News  and Reporter, The Carolina Agency, and on competition teams in advertising and public relations. These experiences and immersive classroom structures are just a small part of the school’s history and development. 

For more information on how to contribute to the SJMC Centennial Celebration, contact Braden Shain, director of development.

Meet the Author

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Lacy Latham

Lacy Latham wrote this article in Instructor Bertram Rantin's Honors Writing for Mass Communications class. She is a sophomore in the Honors College studying political science and journalism. She is involved in Student Government, the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Society, the Carolina Marching Band, U101 Peer Leaders, and the Mountaineering and Whitewater Club. She is on a pre-law track and plans to practice family law. 

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