The Richard W. and Laurie Johnston Memorial Endowment brings professionals to the school for campus lectures, workshops, and discussions with students, faculty members, and members of the community. It honors Dick Johnston, a gifted magazine editor, writer, and war correspondent who devoted himself to high-quality journalism and his wife, Laurie Johnston, an award-winning newspaper reporter, writer, and war correspondent.  The project originated as a memorial to Richard Johnston and was made possible with generous gifts from his widow, Laurie, George E. Jones of U.S. News and World Report, and the Correspondents Fund.

Richard, a 1936 graduate of the school, began his career as a news reporter during the Great Depression, working for the Eugene Register-Guard and the Eugene Daily News. He went to Portland with United Press and during WWII covered the Pacific theatre with the Marines, winning the coveted Headliner Award for his reporting on the Battle of Tarawa. He is best known as the founding executive editor of Sports Illustrated, where he served for 17 years before retiring as a contributing writer. Laurie, also a 1936 graduate, began her career at the Albany Democrat Herald and the Eugene Register-Guard, reported from the Territory of Hawai’i for Reuters during WWII, and worked at Newsweek before settling at the New York Times in 1949. For her work as a Metro reporter and columnist, she won the Meyer Berger Award for distinguished writing from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for  “her consistently warm and perceptive glimpses of the little and large dramas of New York.”

2018-19 Johnston Lecture

Randy OlsonRandy Olson

Lost Earth: How Science Failed to Communicate the Biggest Crisis

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 4 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union (EMU), Crater Lake

Randy Olson is a scientist-turned-filmmaker who left a tenured professorship of marine biology (PhD Harvard University) to attend USC School of Cinematic Arts. After completing the program, he led a successful career in and around Hollywood for 25 years. He has published three books on the communication of science, starting with his identification of the problems in “Don’t Be Such A Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style” (Island Press, 2nd edition, 2018). Next, he explored science communication solutions in “Houston, We Have A Narrative: Why Science Needs Story” (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Olson leads a Story Circles Narrative Training program that has now involved over 1,000 scientists from government agencies, including the National Park Service, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and more. Olson is now growing his workshop and bringing his message to universities across the country.


Past Lectures:

2017     Ted Conover, author and journalist
2016     John Markoff (MA ’76), senior writer for The New York Times
2015     Ken Doctor (MA ’79), news industry analyst, Newsonomics
2013     Charles Jaco, journalist for Fox 2 News and radio host for KMOX
2012     Alex Kotlowitz, Bearing Witness: Storytelling and Human Rights
2011     Jonathon Gold, Experts in the Age of Citizen Journalism
2010     Andrew Revkin, noted environmental writer and blogger for The New York Times on dot earth.
2009    Tony Horwitz, author of five books including A Voyage Long and Strange
2008    Peggy Orenstein, NYT contributing writer and author of Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids and Life in a Half-Changed World; Waiting for Daisy, and Schoolgirls.
2007    Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, a 2006 MacArthur Fellow, author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
2006    Benoit Denizet-Lewis, contributing writer The New York Times Magazine
2005    Erik Larson, author of Isaac’s Storm
2004    Melissa Fay Greene, author, Last Man Out; The Temple Bombing
2003    Terry Tempest Williams, author, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert
2002    Edward Humes, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, No Matter How Loud I Shout; Baby ER
2001    Susan Orlean, contributing writer, The New Yorker and author, The Orchid Thief; The Bullfighter Check her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People
2000    Alex Kotlowitz, author, There Are No Children Here; The Other Side of the River
1999     Peter Matthiessen, author, The Snow Leopard; In the Spirit of Crazy Horse; Zen Journals
1998     Randall Rothenberg, former contributing editor, Esquire; author, Where the Suckers Moon
1997     Barbara Ehrenreich, columnist, Time magazine; author, The Snarling Citizen
1996     James Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly
1995     Victor Navasky, The Nation
1993     Robin Morgan, Ms. magazine
1991     Ambassador “Bill” Lane Jr., Sunset magazine
1990     David Haupert, Magazine Group of Meredith Corporation
1990     Jack Fincher, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian
1988     Suzanne Braun Levine, former editor and vice president, Ms. magazine
1987     Richard Stolley, former editor of Life magazine
1986     Harold Hayes, former editor of Esquire
1984     Ray Cave, Time magazine