Cronkite professor establishes scholarship in memory of wife

Jean McGuire

Arizona State University professor Tim McGuire has established a new endowed scholarship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to honor his late wife, Jean McGuire.

McGuire, the Cronkite School’s Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism, created the Jean Fannin McGuire Memorial Scholarship to help aspiring journalists following a similar career path his wife started in 1965 when she enrolled at Howard County Community College in Big Spring, Texas.

“Journalism and community colleges meant a lot to Jean,” said McGuire, the former editor and senior vice president of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “She passionately believed that without community college she might never have been able to afford college, and that her journalism dream may have been unfulfilled."

McGuire added: “Jean felt strongly that women didn’t always get a fair shake.”

The Jean Fannin McGuire Memorial Scholarship was established for female journalism students who are transferring or have transferred to the Cronkite School.

McGuire said his wife, who died in June from cancer, would have been thrilled about the scholarship.

McGuire met his wife several years after she graduated from Texas Tech University working at the Ypsilanti Press in Michigan where she was an editor. Jean McGuire was also a city editor of the Big Spring Herald and worked as a Harte-Hanks trainee at the Corpus Christi Caller Times, both in Texas. At the Ypsilanti Press, the two colleagues struck up a friendship that led to marriage in 1975. McGuire said his wife sacrificed her own journalism goals for her growing family as he took editor jobs around the country.

Through it all, McGuire said his wife of 39 years supported him during his journalism career, spotting stories and advising on the tough newspaper decisions – all while raising three children. Additionally, she was an active volunteer with the Fraser School, Plymouth Middle School, Robbinsdale Language Immersion School and the Minnesota Down Syndrome Association.

McGuire said her unrelenting support continued when he joined the Cronkite School in August 2006.

Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School, said Jean McGuire was an extraordinary person, who deeply impacted Cronkite faculty and staff.

“For those of us lucky enough to have known Jean, her passion for journalism was undeniable,” Callahan said. “She was a caring and courageous person, who will be greatly missed. This scholarship in her name is a perfect tribute to her legacy as a journalist, mother, wife and a dear friend.”

McGuire said the outpouring of support from the Cronkite School during his wife’s last months was tremendous.

“The dean and much of the faculty and staff have kept me upright these last six months without question,” McGuire said. “I can’t possibly forget that.”

The Jean Fannin McGuire Memorial Scholarship marks the seventh endowed scholarship created at the Cronkite School in the past year. The others include:

• The Sarah and David Bodney First Amendment Scholarship
• The Jean and Christopher Callahan Family Maroon and Gold Leaders Scholarship
• The Mary Louise Gaillard Maroon and Gold Leaders Scholarship
• The John Misner and Angela Astore Misner New American University Scholarship
• The Susan M. Newman and Craig A. Newman Family New American University Scholarship
• The Thomas J. and Dorothy J. Sokol Maroon and Gold Scholarship