Dear Commons Community,
Craig Newmark, the Craigslist founder is giving $20 million to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. As reported by the New York Times:
“In this time, when trustworthy news is under attack, somebody has to stand up,” Mr. Newmark said. “And the way you stand up these days is by putting your money where your mouth is, and that’s what I’ve done.”
As a result of the $20 million gift, the school will change its name this summer to the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. The donation, to be made through Craig Newmark Philanthropies, will fund an endowment for the school, which was founded in 2006.
“We’re very excited,” said Sarah Bartlett, the dean of the journalism school. She added that the money would help make up for the steady decline in state funding for the school, which receives limited donations from its students, who “are too young in their professions to be relied upon to make major donations,” Ms. Bartlett said.
Mr. Newmark, 65, said he developed a serious interest in journalism about 10 years ago, when he started attending journalism conferences. He made friends with the journalist and lecturer Jeff Jarvis, who is now a professor and the director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at CUNY.
In 2016, Mr. Newmark gave $10,000 to the school’s election coverage initiative and in February 2017 tacked on $1.5 million for a research grant, a donation that helped the school raise an additional $14 million.
Mr. Newmark, a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, which he attended with the help of scholarships, said he had chosen to make CUNY the beneficiary of his largess because he admired its commitment to students from all backgrounds. He reached his decision after a meeting with Mr. Jarvis and Ms. Bartlett in the dean’s office, he said.
“You could say that they are the university for everyone,” Mr. Newmark said. “They were helping out people who, like me, really need a lot of scholarship help.”
Thank you, Mr. Newmark and congratulations to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism!