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ASU honors legendary Cronkite

July 19, 2009
ASU President Michael Crow ordered university flags on all four ASU campuses to be flown at half-mast for one week in honor of the late Walter Cronkite.

Writing on his Facebook page, Crow said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of the former CBS News anchor: “Walter Cronkite's legacy will be experienced for years to come through the ASU school that bears his name. Students who learn the craft of journalism at the university are held to the same basic tenants that Cronkite exemplified throughout his career – accuracy, timeliness and fairness.”

The journalism program at ASU was named in honor of Cronkite in 1984, vaulting the program onto the national journalism education landscape. Over the past 25 years, Cronkite helped guide and build the school to one of the best in the nation.

Cronkite, 92, died in his New York home Friday.

This week the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will air a series of tributes to the former CBS News anchor on the large, high-definition TV in The First Amendment Forum in the school’s new building at 555 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. The 2 ½ hour continuous loop of tributes includes the PBS special “Walter Cronkite: Witness to History,” a CBS News special celebrating Cronkite’s 90th birthday, a 2005 tribute featuring past Cronkite Journalism Award winners, Cronkite’s message to prospective students and a Cronkite NewsWatch story on his death.

The viewing is free and open to the public.

The public also is invited to tour the Marguerite and Jack Clifford Gallery in the Cronkite building. The Clifford Gallery houses a series of artifacts from Cronkite’s career, including his lifetime Emmy Award, his CBS typewriter, personal books, photos and a collection of his trademark pipes.

The Clifford Gallery and First Amendment Forum are opened through the summer on weekdays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Cronkite School also created a special Web section, “Remembering Cronkite,” at

And the school has created an interactive Web page where students, alumni, faculty, staff, colleagues, friends and admirers are sharing their thoughts and memories of America’s Anchor. People are encouraged to add their comments about Cronkite at

Meanwhile, Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan, Cronkite Professor Aaron Brown and longtime Cronkite Endowment Board member Jack Clifford will represent the school Thursday at a private service for Cronkite at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York.

CBS is planning a public memorial at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center next month.

The Cronkite School also is planning a public celebration of Cronkite’s life and all that he meant to Arizona, the Valley and the ASU community. Details of that event, to be held in September at the Cronkite School, will be announced shortly.