The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) is pleased to announce this year’s Hall of Achievement (HOA) inductees: Rick Attig, Gayle Forman and Arnold Ismach, and the recipient of the Eric Allen Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, Robert X. Fogarty.
Established in 1998, the Hall of Achievement honors alumni and faculty members of the SOJC for their exceptional accomplishments and contributions to their profession and to the communities in which they live and work. The young alumnus award is named for the school’s first dean, Eric Allen, who served from 1916 until 1944. The award recognizes alumni under 40 who have made a difference in their careers.
“From Pulitzer Prize winners to bestselling authors and innovators who inspire the world, the SOJC’s remarkable alumni lead us to think and care about issues that matter,” says Julie Newton, interim Edwin L. Artzt Dean. “This year’s honorees have truly made a difference in people’s lives through their extraordinary accomplishments.”
Rick Attig ’83 is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and editor whose editorials for The Oregonian between 1998 and 2012 helped inspire several landmark policy reforms, including improved health care for Oregon children and a ban on open field burning.. In 2006, Attig and his colleague, Doug Bates ’68, received a Pulitzer Prize for their editorials about dismal conditions at the Oregon State Hospital. The 15-part series led to construction of a new facility and sweeping reforms in the state’s mental health system.
“Rick epitomizes the elite caliber of graduate that the Hall of Achievement seeks to recognize,” says Bates, a 2008 HOA inductee and member of the selection committee. “His Pulitzer honors were just the tip of a very large iceberg.”
Gayle Forman ’95 is the New York Times best-selling author of If I Stay, an award-winning young adult novel that was adapted into a Hollywood film starring Chloë Grace Moretz. Before turning to fiction writing, Forman spent more than a decade as a magazine journalist, covering social-justice issues for Seventeen magazine and contributing stories to Jane, Glamour, The Nation, Elle, and other national publications. Forman released her latest novel, I Was Here, in January.
“Gayle has had a truly stellar career,” Newton says. “She started as a journalist, and her transition to a best-selling novelist shows the breadth of our alumni network.”
Arnold Ismach served as dean of the SOJC from 1985–1994 and directed the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters during his tenure. Ismach, who passed in January, continued to teach as a professor emeritus at the school until his official retirement in 2000. He is celebrated for advancing the school’s research excellence and helping navigate the transition to online media.
“Arnold was dean at a very important and transitional time for the university as we entered the ‘digital age,’ and he jumped in with both feet,” says Mark Zusman ’78, a 2013 HOA inductee.
Robert X. Fogarty ’05 is the founder of Dear World, an international photography project that uses message-on-skin portraits to capture and share personal human stories. Since launching the campaign’s forerunner, Dear New Orleans, in 2010, Fogarty has photographed thousands of subjects, including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon. He is also the co-founder of evacuteer.org, a New Orleans nonprofit that trains volunteers to assist in the case of future evacuations.
“The compassion displayed in his work is really impressive,” says Dana Wade ’83, a 2014 HOA inductee. “It shows the quality of human being that comes out of the SOJC.”
The Eric Allen winner will be honored and the three additions to the HOA will be inducted at the 18th annual Hall of Achievement Dinner on Friday, Oct. 30, at the Cheryl Ramberg Ford and Allyn Ford Alumni Center on the University of Oregon campus.
Advance ticket purchase is required for the awards dinner: $130 per person or a sponsor table for $1000. A portion of each ticket supports the Hall of Achievement Student Scholarship Fund.
Story by Ben DeJarnette.