The Robert and Mabel Ruhl Endowment, which has supported an annual Ruhl Lecture at the School of Journalism and Communication since 1976, was established by Mabel W. Ruhl, Robert’s widow, to “foster mutually beneficial contact between the School of Journalism and Communication and the mass media.”

It honors Robert W. Ruhl, publisher and editor of the Medford Mail Tribune, who was Oregon’s archetypal crusading small-town newspaperman. His editorial battle against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s earned him the respect of other Oregon journalists, and his paper’s fight against a radical local “populist” movement brought him the Pulitzer Prize in 1934 for distinguished and meritorious public service. Ruhl died in 1967.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Photo by Nina Subin

2017 Ruhl Lecture

A Deeper Black: Race in America
Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me, winner of the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction, national correspondent for The Atlantic

February 3, 2017

Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most original and perceptive black voices today—“the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (New York Observer). Coates is the author, most recently, of Between the World and Me, the #1 New York Times bestseller that “will be hailed as a classic of our time” (Publishers Weekly) and which Toni Morrison calls “required reading.”

2016 Ruhl Lecture

Accountability Journalism in the Digital Age
Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of ProPublica

February 18, 2016

Stephen Engelberg is editor-in-chief of ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that uses the moral force of investigative journalism to expose abuses of power and spur reform. He previously founded the investigative unit at The New York Times and served as managing editor of The Oregonian. His work has won two George Polk Awards for reporting, and two projects he supervised won the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the co-author of Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War.


2015 Ruhl Lecture

Karen PensieroMaintaining Ethical Standards in the Digital Age
Karen Pensiero, Editor for Newsroom Standards at The Wall Street Journal

February 12, 2015

Watch the video online.

A 30-year veteran of the Journal, Ms. Pensiero considers herself incredibly fortunate to be able to spend her days debating, discussing, upholding and teaching journalism standards and ethics at the Journal’s headquarters in New York and its bureaus around the globe. She works with journalists during the reporting and editing process and is a “final reader” of the Journal’s hardest-hitting articles to ensure that the organization’s work meets the most elevated standards of reporting and editing.

2014 Ruhl Lecture

Eric LiuPower, Voice, and the Meaning of Citizenship
Eric Liu, Author

May 15, 2014

Eric Liu is the founder and CEO of Citizen University, which promotes and teaches the art of great citizenship. Liu served as a White House speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and later as the President’s deputy domestic policy adviser. After the White House, he was an executive at the digital media company RealNetworks. His first book, The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, was a New York Times Notable Book featured in the PBS documentary “Matters of Race.”

The video stream of the event can be found online on the UO Media Channel.

2013 Ruhl Lecture

Ann CurryJournalism: An Act of Faith in the Future
Ann Curry, American Journalist

February 28, 2013
6:30 p.m.

The video stream of the event can be found online at the SOJC Livestream Channel.



2012 Ruhl Lecture

Anand GiridharadasJournalism in the Digital Age
Anand Giridharadas, author and columnist

Anand Giridharadas writes about a world in transition as seen through the lens of culture. He writes the “Currents” column for The New York Times and its global edition, the International Herald Tribune and also writes for The New York Times Magazine.

Ruhl Lecturer History

2016    Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica
2015    Karen Pensiero, Walll Street Journal
2014    Eric Liu, author
2013    Ann Curry, NBC Correspondent
2012    Anand Giridharadas, author and columnist
2011    Jere Van Dyk, author and journalist
2010    Philip Meyer, professor ermeritus, UNC Chapel Hill
2009    Martin Baron, Editor The Washington Post
2008    Jan Schaffer, Executive Director of J-Lab
2007    Leonard Pitts, commentator, journalist, and novelist
2006    Jay T. Harris, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Journalism and Democracy, USC
2005    Ann Marie Lipinski, journalist and the curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
2004    John Carroll, Editor at The Los Angeles Times
2003    Tom Rosenstiel, author, journalist, press critic and executive director of the American Press Institute
2002    Frank A. Blethen, publisher, The Seattle Times
2001    Nicholas Kristof, columnist at the NYT
2000    Sandra Mims Rowe, former editor, The Oregonian
1999    Susan Meiselas, Magnum Photos
1998    Jerry Ceppos, San Jose Mercury News
1997    Suzanne Braun Levine, Ms. magazine; Columbia Journalism Review
1996    Lawrence K. Grossman, NBC News and PBS
1995    Ellis Cose, Newsweek
1994    Jonathan Alter, Newsweek
1993    Joann Byrd, Washington Post
1991    Geneva Overholser, Des Moines Register
1990    Jay T. Harris, Knight-Ridder, Inc.
1989    David Shaw, Los Angeles Times
1988    James H. Ottoway, Jr., Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
1987    Deborah Howell, St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch
1986    Frederick Taylor, The Wall Street Journal
1985    Lewis Lapham, Harper’s Magazine
1984    Steve Neal, Chicago Tribune
1983    Seymour M. Hersh, journalist and author
1982    Jeff MacNelly, Chicago Tribune and the Tribune Company Syndicate
1981    John L. Hulteng, Stanford University Department of Communication
1980    Reg Murphy, San Francisco Examiner
1979    Fred W. Friendly, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and CBS News
1978    David F. Behrendt, The Milwaukee Journal
1977    Nora Ephron, Esquire
1976    Newbold Noyes, Washington Star