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History

Since its founding as the School of Journalism was founded in 1937, JMC has steadily grown and changed. Some key dates in our evolution are listed here:

1926 The Kent Stater student newspaper is born.
1927 The first journalism courses are taught in the English Department.
1932 Department of Journalism and Publicity formed in the newly created College of Liberal Arts.
1935 The first broadcast radio course, “Radio Speaking,” is taught in the Speech Department.
1936 William David Taylor named head of the Journalism Department.
1937 Journalism program becomes the first four-year, non-teacher education major at Kent State.
1937 News photography added to the journalism program.
1938 Northeast Ohio Scholastic Press Association (NOSPA) program established at Kent.
1939 JARGON, the School’s alumni publication, is born.
1940 The departments of journalism, speech (future academic home of broadcasting), music and art are upgraded to school status in the College of Liberal Arts.
1947 Program for public relations practitioners begins in School of Journalism.
1948 Walton D. Clarke hired to teach radio courses and to head new Division of Radio in the School of Speech. Clarke is credited with building Kent State’s broadcasting program.
1949 WKSU-AM, the first Kent State radio station goes on the air.
1949 Newspaper Management sequence moved from School of Business to the School of Journalism.
1950 WKSU-FM goes on the air.
1959 The school of speech (and division of radio), journalism, music, home economics and technology become part of the new College of Fine and Professional Arts.
1960 Division of Radio moves to the new Music and Speech Center building.
1965 School of Journalism accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism.
1966 School of Journalism moves into the new Taylor Hall building.
1968 WKSU-TV Channel 2 inaugurated on Kent campus.
1987 School of Journalism merged with Division of Telecommunication to become School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
1991 Center for Privacy and the First Amendment founded.
1996 Poynter Institute selects Kent JMC faculty to participate in a week-long seminar on the JMC curriculum of the future, leading to a new curriculum for the 21st century that focuses on multimedia courses designed to prepare students for careers on paper, on air and on line.
1997 TV2 seen on cable.
1997 Professional Advisory Board formed.
2001 Carl E. Hirsch Media Convergence Laboratory opens.
2002 College of Communication and Information formed.
2003 McGruder Lecture and Awards Program established.
2006 Public relations master’s degree program begins.
2006 JMC receives the endowed Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism.
2007 JMC moves into renovated Franklin Hall.
2007 Journalism educators master’s degree program begins.
2007 Center for Scholastic Journalism formed.
2007 Center for Privacy and the First Amendment becomes the Media Law Center.
2009 The Tannery (now IdeaBase) is formed.
2010 Study abroad program in Florence begins, largely with JMC students.
2011 PR Online master’s degree formed.
2011 International Storytelling course begins in Shanghai; New Delhi (2012) and Curitiba, Brazil (2013) follow.
2013 JMC students and Student Media have record-breaking year in national collegiate award programs.