UT’s J-School Turns 100 [Watch]

It’s an understatement to say a lot has changed in UT’s School of Journalism since its inception in 1914. Gone are the pervading smells of ink and rumbling of the Daily Texan presses, and even the college where it’s housed has a new name.

Now armed with a high-tech new building, the Belo Center for New Media, and an upgraded multimedia-focused curriculum, the School of Journalism is ready to usher in yet another century of reporting and storytelling. But while the tools used to tell those stories may have changed, associate journalism director Wanda Cash says the basic journalistic principles behind them have not.

“The Internet wasn’t invented then. There was no Google; all research was done boots on the ground,” Cash says. “But the basic courses have always been the same: reporting, design, copy editing. Today’s students are getting the same core journalism skills. There’s just so many more ways to apply them.”

As the School of Journalism kicks off a year of centennial celebrations—culminating in an appearance by legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward in September—here’s a look  back at the lingo of journalism-past on the Forty Acres.

1911: University Press Club

A group of students that organized to convince then-UT president Sidney E. Mezes to create a journalism program at the University. Two years later, Mezes presented a resolution establishing the school, and named Texas Lt. Gov. William H. Mayes as its director.

 1919: Theta Sigma Pi

An honorary fraternity for women studying journalism at UT. Established in May 1919, the organization honored juniors and seniors based on the merit of their work both in the classroom and out in the field. According to the 1929 Cactus, the fraternity was built “around the ideal of truth.” It has since disappeared from campus.

1921: Texas Student Publications

Thanks to a charter of incorporation put forward by the then-Texas secretary of state, the Texan and the Cactus (and later, the Ranger) officially became entities of Texas Student Publications, Inc., in 1921. In 2002, the name was changed to Texas Student Media to better reflect the changing media landscape and to encompass UT’s student-run KVRX radio station.

1952: Journalism Building


After stints in J-Hall (where the West Mall office  building now stands), T-Hall (off Speedway, near Gregory Gym), and B-Hall (formerly the men’s dorm, Brackenridge), the School of Journalism got its first dedicated building in 1952. It stood at the corner of 24th and Whitis, in what is today known as the Geography Building. The Daily Texan presses were housed in its basement. “When the presses started to run, the building would just start shaking,” Cash remembers of her time as a journalism student.  “It was an inspiring feeling.”

 1977: Maverick Magazine


A short-lived monthly supplement to the Daily Texan that replaced 4-year-old Pearl Magazine in 1976. Maverick boasted spot color, new typography styles, and upgraded graphics that complemented its human interest and sports features. It wasn’t enough to pique interest, though. The magazine was canceled shortly thereafter, and was later replaced by the long-running UTMost Magazine.

From top: The Journalism Building in 1966; the Daily Texan Office in 1929; the Texan pressroom in 1934; UT students mourn the loss of Pearl Magazine, which was replaced by Maverick in 1977.

Credits from top: Marsha Miller, Cactus Yearbook.


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