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U of R School of Journalism receives $400,000 donation from the Leader-Post Foundation to establish teaching Chair

News Release Release Date: February 25, 2021 10:00 a.m.

A $400,000 donation from the Leader-Post Foundation, which was dissolved earlier this year, will establish a new teaching Chair at the University of Regina School of Journalism. 

The donation represents a legacy honouring the educational mandate of the Foundation, which was founded more than 30 years ago with a board of community leaders and representatives from the newspaper. 

“It’s a huge vote of confidence for not just the J School but for journalism,” said Mark Taylor, Department Head of the School of Journalism. “We’re certainly grateful that the Foundation board shares our passion for journalism and has chosen to support our school at a time when the industry is facing many challenges. To see this donation at this time truly shows how important journalism is.” 

“The board chose to donate this money for one fundamental reason and that is to support to the largest extent possible, the development, through the U of R Journalism School, of trained journalists in print and electronic media,” said Bill Johnson, a Regina lawyer and founding member of the board. 

“Now more than ever, it’s fundamentally important to our democratic institutions and the function of our democracy to graduate journalists who are experts in presenting impartial news,” Johnson added. 

After over 30 years of operations, the Leader-Post Foundation recently dissolved and the donation to the Journalism School represents the last of the Foundation’s remaining assets. 

The responsibilities of the Chair will include developing and delivering new courses; teaching essential skills for students to become successful journalists; and updating and enhancing program delivery. Most important, the Chair will need to be a working journalist. 

“Journalism is an industry that is changing quickly, so by having someone with that experience in how to navigate those challenges in today’s newsrooms will only benefit the next generation of journalists coming out of the J School,” Taylor said. “Hopefully, a working journalist will not just inspire young journalism students but teach them industry standard approaches and techniques so they can succeed.” 

“The hope is by supporting the Journalism School, with the Chair, we in some way contribute to the ongoing success and allow the school to continue to meet its objectives,” said Janice Dockham, a long-time board member and former editor-in-chief of the Leader-Post “If this can help the School of Journalism sustain a portion of its program every year and continues to produce good solid well-rounded journalists, then we will have met our objective.” 

For more information, contact: 

Mark Taylor
Department Head, U of R School of Journalism
Phone: 306-585-4091
E-mail: mark.taylor@uregina.ca

Bill Johnson
Founding Board Member, Leader-Post Foundation
Phone: 306-790-3180
E-mail: bjohnson@grj.ca 

About The University of Regina: 

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,600 students study within the University's 10 faculties and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative rograms that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.

About The Leader-Post Foundation:

The Foundation, originally called the Leader-Post Carrier Foundation, was created in 1986 with educational and humanitarian objectives. It was established at the request of Michael C. Sifton, president of the Armadale media company, which owned the Leader-Post. His desire was to give back to the community that showed tremendous support for the newspaper, and to honour the young men and women who made up the newspaper’s carrier force, delivering papers door to door in Regina and around southern Saskatchewan. Over the years it has provided over $500,000 worth of scholarships and bursaries to post-secondary education students while also donating to the Hospitals of Regina foundation and providing support to Regina women’s shelters. What allowed the foundation to provide the financial support it did over the years was the collection of proceeds from the publishing and selling of books. The nest egg from book sales collected interest over the years and a significant portion of the proceeds left at the dissolution of the Foundation in 2019 was what made up the donation to the School of Journalism. The remainder was used to establish a legacy fund for the four Regina women’s shelters – honouring the Foundation’s humanitarian objectives.

 

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