P R E L U D E
Raymond B. Nixon '25C, founder and director of Emory's original journalism program and a longtime editor of the Emory Alumnus, forerunner of Emory Magazine, died December 15, 1997, in Bloomington, Minnesota. He was ninety-four.
Last spring, at a reunion and banquet honoring graduates of Emory's original journalism program and celebrating the establishment of a new undergraduate minor in the discipline, the University established an annual international journalism lecture in Nixon's honor.
Loren Ghiglione, James M. Cox Professor of Journalism and director of the new undergraduate program, said Nixon "brought legitimacy to the field with his level of research and scholarship." Ghiglione called Nixon's book, Henry W. Grady: Spokesman of the New South, "an important biography that is regarded as a classic."
In 1924, during his senior year in Emory College, Nixon was instrumental in launching the Emory Alumnus, and he edited the magazine for fourteen years, from 1927 to 1941. He also taught journalism, served as an assistant to Emory President Harvey W. Cox, directed the University's News Bureau, and acted as alumni secretary, a "temporary" responsibility that lasted four years. He was named Emory's Man of the Year in The Campus in 1942.
In a 1949 issue of the Emory Alumnus marking the magazine's twenty-fifth anniversary, Nixon recalled his multifaceted career at the University.
"The only reason I can see now for being so foolhardy as to undertake so many jobs is that nearly everybody connected with the University administration in those days of financial stringency was doing double and treble duty," Nixon wrote. "There simply didn't seem to be enough money to add anyone to the staff to serve as alumni secretary and editor of the magazine, and I therefore continued to hold one or both of those jobs in a nominal capacity even after I had determined to devote my full time to journalism teaching and research."
From 1930 to 1938, Nixon directed a weekly radio program on WSB in Atlanta. He contributed to the Atlanta Constitution from 1943 to 1952 and to the editorial page of the Baltimore Sun from 1943 to 1944. Nixon still managed to find time to earn a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1934 and a doctorate in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1942.
After Nixon joined the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota in 1952, Emory disbanded its journalism program. Nixon retired in 1971. For nearly two decades, from 1945 to 1964, Nixon served as editor of Journalism Quarterly, after which he became its international editor.
Following his retirement, Nixon remained active in international communications, lecturing and conducting seminars at universities in the United States and abroad. He often spent up to six months a year out of the country as a lecturer and consultant, primarily in Latin America. In 1974, he received the Medal of Honor in Journalism from the University of Missouri.--A.B.
Photo courtsey Special Collections
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