2008 Hall of Fame
2008 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
H. Darr Beiser ’76
PHOTOGRAPHER, USA TODAY
My time working at the Wildcat was my first exposure to daily photojournalism. The responsibility of producing a paper five days a week helped shape me into the professional photographer that I am today. I was lucky to collaborate with an amazing group of writers and editors and I will always treasure the memories of working with them.
Darr Beiser is an award-winning photographer with USA Today, which he joined in its first year, 1982, and was part of the team the created the prototype for the paper. Throughout his career at USA Today, Darr has distinguished himself in both news and sports photography, shooting some of the most important events of the past 25 years. He covered the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon, Hurricane Katrina, the Columbia space shuttle accident, and the shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech. He has also photographed hundreds of international sporting events, Olympic Games (including the recent event in Beijing), Super Bowls, World Series and Final Four tournaments.
When in Washington, Darr regularly covers Capitol Hill and the White House and has photographed every president since Reagan. He is a member of the White House News Photographers Association and has won many awards from that organization over the years. Darr’s work has also been recognized by the Football and Baseball Halls of Fame, and he has won many Gannett company-wide awards for outstanding work.
Darr Beiser has long ties to Tucson, where he started his photo career at Salpointe High and is a member of the Distinguised Alumni Hall of Fame. Throughout his college years he was a photographer for the Daily Wildcat and was photo editor in 1976. He worked for the Casa Grande Dispatch after graduation and was hired a year later by the Tucson Citizen.
Ford Burkhart ’63
REPORTER, EDITOR, JOURNALISM EDUCATOR
The Wildcat in the 1960s jolted its reporters and bruised egos as it pointed career goals to the best newsrooms around. In short, it gave a few green kids a chance to work with Sherman R. Miller of The New York Times and to grow up fast into competent reporters. The latest copies of the Times were on a shelf in the newsroom. We were expected to read it, talk about it and emulate it, and we did our best, which was all that Mr. Miller would accept.
My first news story, about a fire, gave me the jolt of my life: a grade of F, for failure. Mr. Miller explained why, tersely. Cliches, trite, hack writing, reader’s questions, long sentences. I wrote about “purple clouds of smoke billowing into the blue Tucson sky.” It’s painful to recall, but true. I kept that paper for years, through my work at The Miami Herald and The Associated Press.
Five decades later, I offer Mr. Miller’s comments to young writers, advising them to rely on Strunk and White and “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser, which comes closest of any text to the Miller approach.
In the 60s, the Wildcat newsroom in the J-Department was filled with sturdy typewriters, plenty of carbon paper and ash trays. In the late afternoon you were expected to be back from your beat typing away, top copy for the news desk, which would toss it to the copy desk, and a copy for Mr. Miller. Next day, the print shop would have page proofs, sharp pencils and grimy, earmarked, annotated stylebooks.
I recall Mr. Miller’s advice each time I begin writing. For a feature, have a strong beginning, a good kicker, and a clear theme to link them, like a clothesline. Hang the parts on it with transitions, the clothespins.
I joined The New York Times in 1996, and after 9/11, I was asked to join the team of reporters writing the Portraits of Grief, 300-word sketches of those who died. I used the Miller approach for reporting each loss of life. Each sketch reached print with almost no editing.
Work at the Times was not unlike being at the Wildcat, frankly. We did original reporting on any number of national stories. In my senior year, on a September night in 1962, white students and outsiders rioted at the University of Mississippi as 30,000 troops and marshals enforced integration. The Wildcat editor, Malcolm Terence, had me call the Mississippi campus and interview whomever I could reach. I wrote the story and drew a political cartoon, which was picked up by the Arizona Daily Star. Nothing special, just what we thought we were expected to do in a night’s work at a serious newspaper.
BA, History and Journalism, Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Arizona, 1963
MA, Mass Communications Theory, Stanford University, 1964
Ph.D., Public Administration, Arizona State University, 1992
Journalism Professional Positions
Reporter and bureau chief, The Miami Herald, 1964-1967
Editor, political writer, correspondent in China and at the U.N., The Associated Press, 1969-1976
Editor and writer, The New York Times, 1996-2007
Journalism Faculty Member
The University of Arizona Department of Journalism, 1976-1996
Other Awards and Activities
U.S. Peace Corps, lecturer in English, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1967-69
Fulbright lecturing fellowships: University of Jos, Nigeria; Bernama News Agency, Malaysia; Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Asia Foundation teaching grants: Mongolia and Singapore
U.S. Information Agency grants: Thailand, Pakistan, Zambia and China
Chairman, Fulbright Selection Committee for Central and Southern Africa, 1997-2000
Lecturer on writing and editing, Stanford University, for the graduate program, headed by Prof. William Woo. Taught as video conference from The New York Times.
Lecturer on science writing, Columbia University Biosphere 2 campus
Share of team Pulitzer Prize, The New York Times, 2001
Independent science writer, Tucson, Arizona
Writing projects for institutions including the Research Corporation, Tucson, and the BIO5 Institute for Collaborative Research at the University of Arizona
Scott Carter ’74
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, REAL TIME W/BILL MAHER
I was lucky to get a job at The Wildcat. When I was a freshman, the arts editor, Frank Rizzo, was a graduating senior. At the end of my second semester, I applied for his position. He sent me to review the film “Joe” starring Peter Boyle, after which he recommended to the incoming editor Toby Burgess, who then hired me.
The Wildcat office soon became my hangout. Gone now, it was perfectly positioned at the west end of the Student Union overlooking a courtyard where, it seemed, the whole academic community passed daily.
The staff occupied one big newsroom and, off it to one side, were two small offices: one for the editor-in-chief and the other was for a recently defunct literary magazine. Photo editor Tim Fuller and I “liberated” that room on behalf of our departments, removed the clutter, set up the office like Spade and Archer in “The Maltese Falcon” and also, as I recall, successfully shamed the Student Union into repainting it for us in some hideous combination of colors that we deemed cool. (We even had a closet in which Tim would unload film from his camera and where I often napped in between the classes that I often failed to attend.)
The way in which student journalists worked back then now seems as quaint to me now as the era of candlestick telephones, green eyeshades or fedoras with a PRESS card seemed to us then. We typed. On typewriters. With paper. I don’t even think we had White-Out. We had a whirring AP wire machine that spewed out an ongoing roll of paper. If there was an important story, a bell would ring. (A four-bell story would have been something like the death of LBJ or a California earthquake.)
We also worked from a print shop on 4th Avenue. If I had to write a late review for, say, the opening of a play at the Drama Department, I would have to speed in my car to that sight where I would have all of maybe 10 minutes to write my review without the aid of a copy editor–or Spellcheck–I was left to blunder on my own. (In a hastily written review of “Marco’s Million’s,” I misspelled Eugene O’Neill’s name not only repeatedly in the body of the review but also, loudly, in the headline. My boner gave solace to the actors whom I had panned and negated the impact for what I still believe was an accurate damnation of a production that sucked.)
Looking back now, I think that I got more out of my Wildcat experiences than any of my readers ever did. I wasn’t very adept at features: I often utilized the lazy journalist’s technique of printing an edited transcript of a tape recorded interview rather than taking the time to weave ideas together into a coherent piece. Nor did I do much reporting except to trim press releases and send them to copy editor Merl Reagle. Nor do I think that I was a particularly perceptive critic. Since I didn’t know much about life, my reviews were mostly based on two criteria: 1) raw prejudice (i.e., whatever crazy idea first came into my head) or 2) what favorite classic of mine did the current movie or play I was watching remind me of and how exactly did that new movie or play NOT measure up? (Sometimes, when I now catch a movie on cable that I had first seen when reviewing for the Wildcat, I wince recalling some glib criticism or ham-handed play on words and hope that maybe I’ve learned something in the intervening years about life as well as art.)
My main contribution to the Wildcat was that of an advocate. I lobbied editor Toby Burgess and, later, Jay Parker to expand arts coverage. And my argument always was: the world would be a better place if arts were given as much attention as sports. Eventually, I was able to hire a second writer (and, on more than one occasion, we printed dual reviews of the same movie or play.) I also received a slush fund from which I hired guest reviewers in areas where I knew absolutely nothing such as classical music, food, dance or fine art. Also: I got cartoonist Rand Carlson to design department graphics to change the look of how cultural stories were presented. And I worked with the much-mocked advertising department to produce special supplements. I was an also an advocate for any group that was trying to bring new cultural ideas to our desert community. Among those who got a lot of column space from me were The International Arts Society, The New Loft Cinema and The Gallagher Theatre.
One day a small, dark, mustachioed dude in a long overcoat named Dennia Hacking shuffled into my office. He told me that he and some other Drama Department rebels were forming an original theatre group. Would I review their first production? And so I became the first reviewer of an Invisible Theatre production and, 36 years later, under the marathon leadership of Susan Claausen, it’s still going strong. Like the kid who ran away with the circus, I fell in love with the group and, within a few months, I was writing, performing, directing and producing with them. For the next four years, I did little else. And that experience led me to New York and Los Angeles and into a career first as a stand up and then as a TV writer and producer.
Taking this time to recall my Wildcat days, something I haven’t done in ages, makes realize what a valuable experience it was. It gave me a crash course in getting my thoughts — such as they are — on paper. It gave me a chance to meet celebrities such as Zubin Mehta, Frank Zappa and Marcel Marceau, who helped my mind bridge my ambitions to the real world. The job got me tickets to movies and plays I otherwise would have had to buy. While at the Wildcat, I made life-long friendships with my fellow honoree Merl Reagle and Frank Rizzo, Tim Fuller and John Long (a trio whom I think you should consider honoring in the future). The job also got me a parking pass behind the Student Union and, oh yes, a paycheck.
I see now that I’ve gone on beyond my two paragraphs. Now, can someone get me a copy editor? Merl, where are you?
Scott Carter is executive producer and writer for “Real Time with Bill Maher,” now in its sixth season on HBO. He is also executive producer and writer for the new Comedy Central show “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil.” Scott produced the first 1,100 episodes of “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher”, from its 1993 debut on Comedy Central to its 1997 move to ABC where it became that network’s longest-running late-night entertainment show. Scott picked up eight Emmy nominations and three consecutive Cable Ace Awards for Best Talk Series while with “Politically Incorrect.” In 1997 Variety named him one of “50 Creatives to Watch.”
In 2000 Scott joined Oxygen Media where was executive producer for two seasons of “Exhale with Candice Bergen.” He also produced “Conversations From the Edge with Carrie Fisher: George Lucas” and “Oxygen Forum: Al Gore,” a live 90-minute town hall.
Scott Carter began his career in television as a writer for MTV’s “Mouth To Mouth” in 1988. He then served as producer and writer for three other Comedy Central projects produced by HBO Downtown productions: Night After Night with Allen Harvey” (1989-92), “Sports Monster” (1990-91) and “The Olympiacs” (1992).
Scott has performed extensively on his own–over 2,000 stand-up gigs in comedy clubs across the country, including The Comic Strip, the Original Improvisation, Catch a Rising Star, and the Comedy Store. He has also performed autobiographical monologues (“Heavy Breathing” and “Suspension Bridge”) on numerous stages in this country, Scotland and Ireland.
L. Boyd Finch ’47
INTERIOR DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL AND AUTHOR
If I have any claim to being unique, it may date to days at the University of Arizona as a journalism major. At that time, 1944-47, the Wildcat was closely linked to the journalism “department” faculty which consisted of one professor, Jack O’Connor. I was one of the few journalism majors–maybe 15 at the most–who were O’Connor’s last class and (a year and a half later) Doug Martin’s first class. In between those events we were at loose ends with no formal department faculty, just Don Philips of the university’s two-person public info office, an English prof and a prof from Business and Public Administration (an advertising course).
The Wildcat office also had a unique existence. My first year (a sophomore) the paper office and journalism classroom was a high-ceilinged room in the campus heating plant, behind the engineering building. On one high wall was a mural, “Power of the Press” may have been its name. It depicted the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, painted by Ted DeGrazia a few years earlier. For the next two years the paper and the department had a double-sized room on the ground floor of the revamped Old Main.
When I was managing editor and Barbara Herman was editor we were called on the carpet in the office of President Alfred Atkinson. Our offense: the paper had published a story about football players breaking into the campus mimeograph office where all tests were duplicated (a far cry from today’s technology). So much for freedom of the press
L. Boyd Finch is author of “Legacies of Camelot: Stewart and Lee Udall, American Culture, and the Arts,” published this year. Stewart Udall–JFK’s Secretary of the Interior–was a fellow University of Arizona graduate. Drawing on his years in politics and government service, as well as his friendship with Udall, Boyd offers an insider’s view of the cultural transformation Udall and his wife brought to Washington DC during the Kennedy years and beyond.
Born in Galesburg, Ill., Boyd Finch earned his journalism degree from the UofA and served as managing editor of the Wildcat. He also worked nights for the Arizona Daily Star. After receiving a master’s in political science from Stanford University, he joined the staff of the Tulare (Calif.) Advance-Register. He spent a year studying congress as a Congressional Fellow and several more years as a reporter and deskman at the Star Free Press in Ventura, Calif.
After running unsuccessfully for Congress, Boyd entered government service with the Department of the Interior in 1961, eventually joining the National Park Service where he became associate regional director for the Southeast region, which included 54 parks from Kentucky to the Virgin Islands.
Boyd retired to Tucson with his wife Polly and launched a career researching and writing about Western history. He has chaired the University of Arizona Friends of the Library, Westerners’ Corrals, and publications committees of the Arizona Historical Society and Western National Parks Association.
Dan Hicks ’84
Soon after I started school at the UA it became a goal of mine to become a sportswriter for the Wildcat. Since I grew up in Tucson, I already knew of its great reputation as much more than just a student publication. There were several instances where the Wildcat was breaking news around campus while the other local papers were following their lead. I finally broke through my junior year and the experience I got was the kind no classroom could provide. It led me to a variety of contacts which in turn helped me get launched into the real world of broadcasting. Practical experience is key in my profession and having it while still in college was invaluable
Since joining NBC Sports in June 1992 as a play-by-play announcer, Dan Hicks has called a wide variety of sports, ranging from Olympic speed skating and swimming to NFL and NBA games. But hosting NBC’s Emmy Award-winning golf coverage has always brought out Dan’s best. “Announcers over their careers tend to find their niche–the sport they do best,” Dan says. “For me, it’s golf. If I could call any big moment in sports, it would be at an event like the U.S. Open. For me this is the ultimate assignment. I love the game that much.”
Most recently, though, Dan called the swimming events at the Beijing Olympics. Memorably, he covered the US men’s team’s come-from-behind in the 4×100 relay to preserve Michael Phelps hopes for 7 gold medals. Here’s Dan (courtesy Wikipedia):
“The United States trying to hang on to second, they should get the silver medal, Australia is in bronze territory right now, but Lezak is closing a little bit on Bernard. Can the veteran chase him down and pull off a shocker here? Well there’s no doubt that he’s tightening up! Bernard is losing some ground, here comes Lezak… UNBELIEVABLE AT THE END, HE’S DONE IT! THE US HAS DONE IT! HE DID IT! HE DID IT! A NEW WORLD RECORD! Phelps’s hopes alive!”
Prior to joining NBC, Dan had been a sports anchor at CNN since 1989. He began his professional career in 1984 as a sports anchor/news reporter for KCEE/KWFM radio in Tucson, later moving to KVOA-TV, the NBC affiliate.
A Tucson native, Dan graduated from the UofA with a degree in journalism and a score of bylines from the Daily Wildcat. Dan is married to Hannah Storm, formerly with CBS Early Show, and now an anchor on ESPN Sportscenter.
Diane Johnsen ’75
MEMBER ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS
I have lots of good memories of the Wildcat office as the staff “home,” a place to hang out all day long, in and around classes. Most memorable, however, is something that probably isn’t done any more: My weekly “night at the print shop,” a dingy smelly place on Fourth Avenue. One editor each night was assigned to supervise the printers’ layout and production of the paper. These would be long nights in a very weird dark atmosphere in an office manned by mysterious people who worked on their own time and their own pace, regardless of what anyone at the Wildcat wanted.
B.A., University of Arizona (1975) (summa cum laude).
J.D., Stanford University (1982).
Associate editor, Stanford Law Review.
• Private practice, Munger Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles (1983-1985).
General commercial litigation.
• Private practice, Osborn Maledon in Phoenix (1985-2006).
General commercial litigation practice, including complex litigation,
environmental law, insurance defense, commercial torts and media law.
• Appointed to the Court of Appeals by Janet Napolitano in August 2006.
• Law clerk to the Hon. Judge Ben C. Duniway,
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1982-1983.
• Judge Pro Tempore, Maricopa County Superior Court (1995-2006).
• Board member Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (1993-2006).
• Board member Children•s Action Alliance (2004-2006).
• American Bar Association
• State Bar of Arizona Court of Appeals
• Maricopa County Bar Association
• Arizona Women Lawyers Association
Phil Matier ’82
COLUMNIST, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
I can’t imagine a better student experience than working at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. In the early 1980′s the school and paper exemplified quality of journalism equal to anything I have seen in my 20 plus years in the field. Under the guidance of Don Carson, Clyde Lowery and the other faculty advisers, the Daily Wildcat produced a string of award-winning stories covering everything from hidden payments in the school’s basketball program, burn-out among the faculty at the School of Nursing, plus arts features and local news coverage.
These stories won a string of awards. One of the highest awards, however, was never made public. It came one afternoon, when UofA President John Schaefer–who had himself been a target of more than one Wildcat expose–called me up to his office to compliment our coverage on a story that day involving one of his administrators. He just wanted to say “thanks” for being fair.
Tough but fair– that is what the Wildcat taught us.
Phil Matier is one of the most watched and read journalists in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Matier and Ross news column – co-written with fellow journalist Andy Ross – appears three times a week in the San Francisco Chronicle. The column mixes news, insights and analysis of California’s politics, personalities and, of course, San Francisco’s own brand of peculiarities.
In addition to his print work, Phil is a regular on San Francisco’s CBS-5 television, appearing on the evening news and co-hosting the Sunday morning news. His perspective on the news can also be heard during the morning and afternoon commute on San Francisco’s KCBS radio AM 740.
Phil is a sought after public speaker and a guest on many of the national cable news channels. Prior to working in San Francisco, Phil worked at the Tucson Citizen.
Judith Dunwell Nichols ’82, ’97
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR COLLEGE OF LAW
I have many memories of the Wildcat, including working with a group of extremely bright fellow students with whom I would be proud to work with today. I remember hiring Sam Stanton, a business major, because the sample story he handed in was so perfectly typed, something no journalism student could match. He turned out to be one of the most natural and talented journalists I have ever seen. I remember Sam helping me hold Ellen Ettinger, a reporter, upside down and shaking the change out of her pockets to gather 50 cents to get a bean burrito at the Student Union. I remember many “staff meetings” at Gentle Ben’s, where the fragile state of journalism was discussed into the early hours of the morning. I remember meeting and falling in love with my husband-to-be, Tom Nichols, despite his complete obliviousness to my overtures and his belief that my attentions were motivated by my deep interest in the science issues he was covering. (Not.) I remember the administration’s disapproval of the syndicated column I ran which was written by a grandfatherly looking doctor who discussed, very explicitly, sexual questions from college students. And I remember the administration’s efforts to get rid of me when I sued the university. Mostly, I remember the unwavering defense from my journalism professors, Don Carson, George Ridge, Jim Johnson, and others, and of Clyde Lowery, the director of student publications, who as staff rather than faculty, was perhaps the most at risk. Their support and belief in me gave me a feeling of righteous courage that I hold to this day.
Judy (Dunwell) Nichols is Director of Communications for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Previously, she was a reporter and editor at The Arizona Republic for more than 20 years. She specialized in in-depth and computer-assisted reporting, and for many years focused on Native American issues. She has won numerous state and national awards, including a National Headliner award for a project that used state records to demonstrate a pattern of abuse, neglect and exploitation of Arizona’s elderly and documented the lack of state regulation to protect them and a National Heywood Broun Award for a project that showed the same situation in the state’s childcare system. She was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, a finalist for Arizona Journalist of the Year, and was given a grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to write about AIDS among Indian communities.
While working on her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Arizona, Judy served as a reporter, city editor and editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. As Wildcat editor, she and her staff filed a lawsuit against the university for withholding documents in an internal investigation of a slush fund in the athletic department. The decision in favor of the paper set a precedent for more open public records in Arizona and provided that those who are forced to sue for access can recover attorneys’ fees. She and her husband, Tom, a wire editor at The Republic, owned and operated a bi-weekly newspaper, the North Coast News, in northern California, in the late 1980s. They have one son, Nate, who is a high school freshman at the Arizona School for the Arts, and plays saxophone, piano and guitar.
Merl Reagle ’72
CROSSWORD PUZZLE CREATOR
Merl Reagle, whom Games magazine has called the “best Sunday crossword creator in America,” constructed his first crossword puzzle at age 6 and sold his first puzzle to The New York Times when he was just 16 and a student at Tucson’s Catalina High School. His puzzles also appeared in the Daily Wildcat while he was a student at the UofA. He started making the Sunday crossword for the San Francisco Examiner in 1985 , and since the mid-1990s his self-syndicated puzzle has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Seattle Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and many others. His puzzle began running in the Washington Post magazine this year.
“Crossword-solving is supposed to be good exercise, like a ThighMaster for your mind,” says Reagle.” But like any exercise, I think it should be as fun as possible. I’ve always had sort of a bent but G-rated sense of humor — hence the guarantee in all of my crossword puzzle books, ‘Twisted but fair.’”
His “bent but G-rated” humor is what makes Reagle’s crosswords so attractive to the Writers Group. “Merl’s puzzles are not only charming, witty and fun to solve, they are laugh-out-loud funny. No other ‘puzzle composer’ does quite what Merl does,” says Amy Lago, editor of comics and graphics for the Writers Group.
Reagle has been featured on ABC’s “Nightline” with Ted Koppel, and he co-starred in the hit documentary “Wordplay.” He lives in Tampa, Fla., with Marie, his wife and partner in their puzzle book publishing company. (source: Washington Post Writers Group)
Sam Stanton ’82
REPORTER, SACRAMENTO BEE
My fondest memory of the Wildcat is the night we published our Extra to report the details of the documents the university released to us after we won our lawsuit. Although it was Christmas break and there were few students on campus, Judy Nichols insisted that we had to publish, and we worked late into the night to write and edit the stories, then deliver bundles of the Wildcat editions around campus. That was the first of two Extras I’ve been involved with (the second was 9/11).
My second fondest memory is the night I hired Phil Matier. I was the newspaper’s city editor when we ran into each other at a beer cooler inside the Circle K near campus, and although I had never met him before I offered him a reporting job in exchange for him letting me have the last six-pack of Coors in the cooler. It worked out well for all involved.
Sam Stanton is a senior writer at the Sacramento Bee and has been a reporter and editor at the newspaper since 1991. He has covered a variety of national and international stories, including the famine and war in Somalia, the 1996 and 2002 Olympic Games, the Oklahoma City bombing, the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis and eight executions at San Quentin. Sam came to The Bee from the Arizona Republic, where he covered state politics and the U.S. Congress. His honors include a Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and his selection as a finalist for the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in general news for coverage that led to the impeachment of Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham. He was a reporter and city editor for the Daily Wildcat until beginning an internship at the Republic in 1982 and staying on after being offered a full-time reporting job there. He is married to Marjie Lundstrom, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who also works for The Bee. They have two children, Nicholas, 14, and Riley, 9.
Gregory Stone ’86
FOUNDER, STONE, ROSENBLATT AND CHA
My most memorable moments at the Wildcat were working along side and being mentored by Clyde Lowery and George Morley. After a rather intense interview process, I was honored to be appointed as Business Manager and I was humbled by the amount of responsibility that came with the post. The paper was supported by advertising revenue only and the size of the paper and whether certain stories or articles made it to press was dependent upon the performance of the sales force. The Wildcat afforded me the opportunity and experience of working with and staying within a budget; hiring (and sometimes terminating) sales associates; mediating disputes among staff, sales associates and editors; and creating, building, and maintaining client relationships. There was no class or course offered and no other position on campus that provided this experience. My experience at the Wildcat and the learned, hands-on skills it allowed me to develop, I believe were instrumental in my founding my own law firm of 22 attorneys and which I attribute, in large part, to my success as a trial attorney. The Wildcat will always be a part of me and now I am privileged that as an inductee into the Hall of Fame, I will always be a part of it.
Gregory E. Stone, founder and director of Stone Rosenblatt Cha, an LA law firm, brings a somewhat different resume to the Hall of Fame than that of his Wildcat newsroom peers. While at the Daily Wildcat he served as a sales rep for two years and student business manager in 1984-85–and then ran for and was elected executive vice president of ASUA, finding himself covered by the paper whose sales operations he used to oversee.
Greg also met his future wife at the Wildcat. Beatrice Eisman Stone, ’87, was a sales rep for the Wildcat from 1984-86. Greg and Bea live in Southern California with their three children.
As a deft litigator, Greg has built a reputation for achieving results. He has personally tried over 50 cases to verdict throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. He was recognized as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by his peers in Los Angeles Magazine, Law & Politics Media, Inc., and Super Lawyer publications. He has also earned the highest rating (“AV”) for legal ability and ethics by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. In 2004 Greg was featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal as a litigator to watch. The focus of the article (entitled “Defense Attorney is Batting a Thousand”) was on Greg’s outstanding trial record.
Greg single-handedly defended a billion dollar national corporation (Yucaipa Companies-Ralphs Grocery Company) in a three week, racial discrimination/civil rights jury trial televised live on Court TV in downtown Los Angeles. The jury rejected plaintiff’s $10,000,000 demand and awarded plaintiff nothing. The trial was Court TV’s first televised Los Angeles trial (pre-OJ).
Robert Walker ’57
PRESS SECRETARY AND SPEECHWRITER
For half a century every time I begin to write I count the words in the first sentence (18 this time). If the ghost of Doug Martin, peering over my shoulder, nods approval, I continue. It was the reputation of newspapering’s little giant, Doug Martin, that drew me to the UofA and the pep band playing “Bear Down, Arizona” at 1953 High School Senior Day that sealed the choice.
It was a great choice. A solid grounding in journalism, history, government and other fields served me well in writing news stories, features, policy papers or speeches. Perhaps more important, the support of the UofA faculty, staff and fellow students built the confidence essential for the opportunities awaiting.
I don’t do much writing these days, but my Arizona roots are evident when my young granddaughters are having an off day on the softball diamond. That’s my voice yelling at them, “BEAR DOWN.”
Robert K. Walker began his career as a newsman with the Tucson Citizen in 1956 and worked for the next 14 years at the Citizen, Arizona Republic and Associated Press. He started in the AP•s Washington Bureau in 1968 after covering the national Republican and Democratic conventions that year.
In 1970 Bob became press secretary to U.S. Sen. Paul Fannin of Arizona. When Fannin retired, Bob took a job as speechwriter for Secretary of the Interior Thomas Kleppe and remained at Interior as an information officer and speechwriter for four successive Secretaries of the Interior (Democratic and Republican). All in all, Bob served 19 years at Interior, retiring in 1995. He specialized in information on a range of issues, including national parks, endangered species, Indian gaming, offshore oil and gas, and Interior Department responsibilities in Alaska.
A native of Canton, Ill., Bob moved to Phoenix with his family in the 1940s. He worked his way through the UofA, majoring in journalism and minoring in history. He was editor of the Wildcat in 1956-57 (when it was published twice-weekly) and sports editor in 1955-56. He was a member of Sophos, Chain Gang, Blue Key, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. Bob also has a master of arts degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University.
Bob and his wife of 48 years, Carollee, have made Vienna, Virginia, their home for the last 40 years. Their two daughters and three grandchildren also live in Vienna. A son died in 1996. Bob enjoys grandfathering, youth sports (he serves on the board of the Vienna Girls Softball League), gardening and travel.