Hubbard 100 Memories

Hubbard 100 Memories


Alums share memories from their time in Murphy Hall in honor of the School’s Centennial. Have memories of your own? Share them with us.

“Back in college, I was a terrible writer. In fact, I flunked freshman English. I wound up in journalism school because of my interest in advertising account management and the graphics side of marketing. By my junior year, I had to take Beginning Copywriting. The professor was Virginia Harris, one of the only professors I knew who had field experience. Can you imagine how terrified I was? About a week into the course, our first assignment was to pick a product and write an ad for it. Students turned in their work a day or two later together with mine. “The next day, Professor Harris asked me to come to her office after school. I thought…“This is it, where do I go from here?” I sat down beside her desk and waited for the hammer to drop. “She reached for a sheet of paper at the top of a stack. The painful silence broke when Professor Harris said, ‘Bob, you have a gift. You write like you talk.’ She went on to explain that many students had ingrained formal literary skills so much so that they couldn’t write succinctly and with conviction. My career ambitions and confidence made an abrupt change in that brief office visit with Professor Harris. The fact that she had real-world experience gave me even more confidence in my writing style. Professor Harris didn’t have to do what she did for me. She had a deep sense of caring to channel students in a career direction where they could excel. Thank you, Professor Virginia Harris. You are still my hero.” —Bob Mallory, B.A. ’73

“The mentor program played such a huge role in creating my career path! I don't know where I'd be if my amazing mentor, Ray Faust, hadn't given me the sage advice that copywriting and media were very different career paths, and I needed to choose one. I chose media and strategy and have been thankful to work at some amazing ad agencies and companies in my career. I've also loved being able to give back to the mentor program as a mentor and as a board member helping run the program.” —Heather Arntson, B.A. ’05. M.A. ’09

“The late, great journalist Paul McEnroe served as an adjunct professor at the J-school for a number of years, and he sure left a mark on my career. I was a student in his reporting class in the early '90s when one day he entered the room, grabbed a black marker and scrawled on the dry erase board a command that I tried to obey for years to come: ‘Journalism is not about journalism -- HIT THE ROAD!’ McEnroe's imperative was an ethos. To me, it meant get off your butt and into the neighborhoods. Talk to people. Gather stories from those affected by the decisions of the pols, bureaucrats and business leaders you cover. McEnroe didn't want his students taking the easy way out by relying solely on phone interviews and official sources. During my career as a journalist in Dallas, New York City and St. Paul, I tried to live up to Mac's exhortation. Today, in an era of smartphones, email, internet and social media, McEnroe's order (maybe it was a plea) is more important than ever before. ‘Hit the road!’” —Bob Ingrassia, B.A. ’92

“I came to Murphy Hall anticipating becoming a journalist covering legal-government affairs. Professor Donald Gillmor, the greatest teacher I had, urged me to combine those interests and go to law school. I did, and for that I’m grateful.” —Marshall Tanick, B.A. ’69

It's been more than 60 years since I first entered Murphy Hall as a freshman. During my seven years as an undergraduate and graduate student I learned a great deal and made many lasting friends. I treasure memories of my favorite professors who included Mitch Charnley, George Hage and Edwin Emery. I worked on the Minnesota Daily and the Ivory Tower. I just checked and I still have a key to 10B Murphy Hall, a valued possession because of the memories it evokes. During my years in Murphy Hall, I moved from the student publications in the basement to the graduate assistants’ room on the fourth floor. And I spent countless hours on the floors in between. All of that proved invaluable in my subsequent career as a reporter, editor and professor.” — Larry Pearson, B.A. ’64, Ph.D. ’90

“Sitting in Dan Wackman’s office with David Domke, pouring over our latest analysis, only to have Dan send us back upstairs to rerun SPSS [statistics software] because we hadn’t pulled all the descriptive stats or run some analysis that he regularly demanded. But when we invariably returned, answer in hand, that look of pleased satisfaction on Dan’s face, when he could tell we were on to something, will last me a lifetime. That mentor-mentee relationship developed into a father-son dynamic, as Dan invited us into his Minnesota clan, and was there to celebrate our growing family. Thanks for the memories, the abiding friendships, the unwavering support and the career.” —Dhavan Shah, M.A. ’95, Ph.D. ’99

"The skills I learned in the School of Journalism provided the basis for a surprising and satisfying career in the philanthropy field. I intended to work in the field of advertising/marketing after graduation, but found that opportunities for women were very limited. I began work for the City of St Paul Health Department in a grant funded program, ultimately becoming the grant manager of a sizable federal grant. In 1979, our family moved to Bemidji, where I provided planning, grant research, and proposal writing services for over three decades. I became a rural advocate, rather than an urban snob, and facilitated development of multiple services and organizations, using the research and writing skills cultivated at the U of M. I’m grateful for a very successful career in rural Minnesota and the education that prepared me to enhance health, education, and social services in rural Minnesota." -- Celine Kludt Graham, B.A. '69 

"My favorite memory is PRISM. We created a special group leadership organization to help promote diversity long before it became a thing. It was a labor of love and a small group of people kept it alive. We had intentional meetings in Murphy Hall, building memories in our special office and the library. The experience of doing something new, different, and working toward positive change and a positive cause influences and encourages me to be of service to others in my personal and professional life even decades later. I'm grateful the J School supported such an organization." -- Phavanna Nina Bouphasavanh, B.A. '03