An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

It’s almost here: seventh annual Friends of The Daily Texan Hall of Fame gathering

What’s new at  the 7th annual Friends of the Daily Texan Hall of Fame dinner Oct. 4 in Austin?

The new:

  • The latest from Dean Jay Bernhardt on the innovative work of Moody College of Communication this past year.
  • Six deserving Texan staffers will receive scholarship grants at the dinner; that’s three new ones since last year. Two new scholarships will be unveiled – the Becky and Jerry Conn Scholarship and the John McConnico and Jean-Mark Bouju scholarships.  They join the Friends of The Daily Texan Achievement Awards as scholarships now available to Texan staffers.
  • An update from Gerald A. Johnson , Director of Texas student Media, on new efforts at The Texan and TSM Media to deal with the financial challenges facing the media world.
  • Nine new inductees into the Daily Texan Hall of Fame, including a former staffer who made his career in medicine and broke the racial barrier at The Texan in the 1960s, an expert on climate change, space coverage, environmental and science journalism, a veteran sports editor recognized as an expert on the Olympics games, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer honored for her work on violent human rights abuses against women worldwide, one of the nation’s premier medical malpractice attorneys, a beloved Houston TV journalist and a veteran TV producer who has won 17 Emmys plus other awards producing top news shows.
  • To help remember the evening, each guest attending will receive a Friends of The Daily Texan Reporters Notebook, which doubles as a guide to the evening, plus a list of all Texan staffers who have won the Pulitzer Prize, previous Texan Hall of Fame honorees, the history of The Texan and the Friends of The Daily Texan group and other info. Also, a set of blank pages to make your own notes during the evening, get autographs of the others at your table or take home to use as a treasured Friends of The Daily Texan scratch pad.

If you can’t attend, and would like one of these special reporter’s notebooks, just go to the registration link and sponsor a Daily Texan staffer’s attendance at the event and we’ll ship the notebook to you.

And what’s not new?

  • Well, the social hour at 6 p.m. is not new. It’s a favorite, so of course we kept it as is. But we have added a selection of hors d’oeuvres to the menu to enjoy with your favorite beverage. Come at 6 p.m. and catch up with friends and colleagues.

Social hour begins at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom of The Texas Union, on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

Seats and reserved tables are still available. You may register by going to this link:

All proceeds go to financially assist The Texan, funding such projects as buildout of the online archive for all Texan issues back to its founding in 1900, scholarships for Texan staffers, travel and coverage needs of The Texan, camera and video equipment for The Texan and other needs of the staff and the paper.

Below is a list of honorees for 2019.

Previous year inductees include Walter Cronkite, Lady Bird Johnson, Richard Elam, Bill Moyers, Liz Carpenter, Ronnie Dugger, Dewitt C. Reddick, Berkeley Breathed, Robert Rodriguez, Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Tex Schramm, Liz Smith and other Texan “graduates”.

This year’s honorees:

Hartley Hampton, who started out as an assistant sports editor for The Daily Texan from 1970 to 1972, is regarded as one of the top medical malpractice attorneys in the country.  After graduation, he worked as a reporter, mostly for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Later, he went to law school, planning to return to journalism, but he made a few wrong turns and became a lawyer. For the past three decades, he has primarily represented patients in medical malpractice cases.  He has been listed in Texas Monthly Super Lawyers and U.S. News and World Reports Best Lawyers in America for Medical Malpractice since those designations were begun and was selected Texas Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in 2015. He is past president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Houston Trial Lawyers Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates, Houston Chapter, and is a member of the International Society of Barristers. He practices in Houston with the firm of Hampton & King.

Randy Harvey is long-time time Sports Editor at the Los Angeles Times and Houston ChronicleAfter 30 years at the Los Angeles Times, Randy Harvey returned to his native Texas in July 2012, starting a new assignment as a featured sports columnist at the Houston Chronicle. He became sports editor in May 2015 and retired in March 2018. His first beat in L.A. was to cover the Showtime Lakers with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After the 1984 Summer Olympics, he covered primarily international sports, including 15 Summer and Winter Games and four soccer World Cups. On the domestic front, he also has covered 12 Super Bowls. Randy moved into management as senior assistant sports editor in 2000, left in 2004 as assistant managing editor/sports for the Baltimore Sun and returned to the LA Times in 2006 as sports editor. He spent three years from 2009 to 2012 as associate editor before deciding to return to writing sports. Randy is a 1973 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and has worked at newspapers in the state in Tyler, Austin and Dallas. He also has worked for the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Daily News. Randy was twice named California sportswriter of the year. He was honored seven times in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and won several other sports writing awards. He has appeared four times in the “Best Sports Stories of the Year” anthologies. In the golden era of sports writing by Sherrod, Shrake, Cartwright and Jenkins, Sherrod spoke on the future of sports writing, and said “Got a kid named Randy Harvey with all the earmarks if he’ll stick with it.”


Dr. Leon McNealy was a 1963 journalism graduate of UT and now is a radiation oncologist living in Wisconsin. His interest in journalism came from his father and grandfather, who were passionate about the news. They read The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle every day plus the twice a week Houston Informer. The roots of his later satirical writing started in their living room. “The floor was covered with board games and electric trains. We role played the politicians of the day.” He attended segregated public schools in Houston and remembers fondly the influence of his journalism teacher at Wheatley High School. George McElroy helped him write his first public speech at the school and encouraged him to apply to the University of Texas at Austin, which earlier had turned down his own application for graduate school because of his race. McElroy later was the first African American journalist hired by the Houston Post. “He was an inspiration for me,” McNealy said. McNealy said when he arrived at UT in 1958 he found the work hard and he suffered from grinding isolation and loneliness. There was one very bright spot – The Ranger Magazine had a column on the editorial page of The Daily Texan every month called “Hairy Tales” by Harry Ranger. The opportunity to write for this column caused him to change his major from Latin American Politics to Journalism, which opened up many vistas. He could write regular news stories and stories for the campus humor magazine. He had his own monthly column called “Dear Momma.” He became wire editor for the Texan, handled international news for the campus TV station and briefly had a jazz show on the departmental radio station. As a campus journalist he wrote as Huey McNealy using another of his given names. “The most important thing I took away from my Texan experience was the wonderful people that I met,” he said. “I made longtime friendships.” UT was newly integrated at that time but area businesses were segregated. McNealy participated in integration activities such as sit-ins at downtown lunch counters and the famous Stand-Ins on the Drag that led to integration not only at movie theaters in Austin but also around the South. The Daily Texan gave serious coverage to integration activities at a time when many Southern newspapers were giving them scant or no coverage. “I found that inspiring,” he said. After graduation in 1963, he moved to California and, after getting graduate degrees in creative writing and psychology, entered medical school. Two years ago, in recognition of his educational and professional accomplishments, McNealy was inducted into the new Wheatley High School’s Hall of Fame. When his work demands have allowed, McNealy has been a frequent attendee at the Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lecture in Journalism. It was at one of these lectures that he met Dr. Kathleen McElroy, daughter of his high school inspiration. She is Director of the School of Journalism at UT.


Sylvan Rodriguez  was a veteran of ABC’s West Coast Bureau, and a longtime Houston television journalist and KHOU-TV Anchor. He passed away  in 2000, after a 15-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Rodriguez was very active in the Houston community, and an elementary school and a city park are named after him. He was a founding member of the  I Have a Dream Foundation.  When his illness became known, former President George Bush, a fellow Houstonian, helped him run a fund-raiser for the University of Texas’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and viewers inundated him with letters and e-mail at KHOU-TV, where he had been a fixture as a news anchor from 1987 until he went on medical leave in January 1999. Before going to KHOU, Sylvan had been a reporter and anchor at KIRK-TV in Houston, where his coverage of the Challenger explosion led to a brief stint as an ABC correspondent in Los Angeles. A 1971 UT graduate, Sylvan came to Houston in 1977 after five years at KENS-TV in San Antonio, where he was a reporter, photographer, assignment editor and anchor. Sylvan was passionate about the space program. He was the chief correspondent for ABC 13 for NASA from 1981-1986 and covered the Challenger explosion, leading to his position as an ABC correspondent in the Los Angeles bureau. He knew many of the astronauts who died on the Challenger and their spouses. Lorna Onizuka, widow of Ellison Onizuka, was a close friend and was at Sylvan’s funeral. He lived in Clear Lake, where NASA is located, and the space program was always close to his heart. Sylvan hosted a gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of the lunar landing, and he brought astronauts and cosmonauts together for the event, with Dan Rather as the emcee.

 In 1998 Sylvan took a small team from KHOU to Cuba to cover Pope John Paul’s visit.

During his last years, Sylvan served on a long list of charity boards, including the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association, and he was showered with honors, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals and the 2000 Communicator Award from NASA. That association renamed its  annual scholarship awards after Sylvan, and they and continue to hold the Sylvan Rodriguez Scholarship and Awards Gala. He also was inducted into the Houston Hall of Fame. Tributes continued after his death, filling more than 40 electronic pages on a condolence board that KHOU set up at its Web site.

Memorials in his honor include:

  • The Sylvan Rodriguez Foundation
  • The Sylvan Rodriguez Elementary School in Houston was named after Rodriguez.
  • The Sylvan Rodriguez Scholarship Banquet was held in 2005 by the Houston Association Hispanic Media Professionals.
  • The 111-acre Sylvan Rodriguez Park in Clear Lake near Ellington Field.


John Schwartz  was born in Galveston, Texas, and is proud of being a BOI (“Born on the Island”) and of being the son of former state senator A.R. “Babe” Schwartz and Marilyn Schwartz. He attended The University of Texas at Austin, where got a liberal arts degree through the Plan II program. He met his wife, Jeanne Mixon of Houston, just before classes started in their freshman year in 1975. After graduating in 1979, John went on to UT Law School for lack of a better plan. While he was in law school, he became editor of The Daily Texan in an unusual way. At the time, he was editor of the campus magazine, UTMost, but when the editor of The Texan resigned in the fall of 1981, the Texas Student Publications Board appointed John to fill the remainder of the 1981-82 term. He went on to finish law school and even pass the bar, though he never practiced, which is probably a good thing for the clients he might have had. He has worked at Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times, which recruited him in 2000. Since then, he has covered a wide range of topics that includes climate change, the space program, technology, business, law and infrastructure; his reporting for the Times has sent him to much of the United States, as well as Russia and China. He has flown in a jetpack, climbed to the top of a 300-foot wind tower and been zapped with a million volts of electricity (safely). John is author of several books, including “Oddly Normal,” a memoir about raising a gay son, and “This Is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order,” a memoir and personal finance guide. John and Jeanne have three children and two grandchildren, and live in New Jersey.


Janice Tomlin worked 20 years at ABC News New York in various producer, senior producer and executive producer positions, creating news programming and also hour-long specials for Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer. She also  spent 4 years at CBS News 60 Minutes working as producer for Mike Wallace and Steve Kroft. After 60 Minutes, she was a producer for Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Productions,) Senior Producer at Dan Rather Reports, the managing editor of the news dept. at KDAF TV Dallas, and a producer under contract for a Disney film.  Among  her awards: 17 National Emmys, 2 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University awards, 3 Overseas Press Club awards, 2 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism awards, Recipient of the National Academy of Arts & Sciences “Lifetime Achievement” Emmy.

Judy Walgren is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, picture editor, executive producer, curator, writer and teacher. She was on the staff of the Daily Texan and graduated from UT Austin with a degree in journalism. She took her first job with the Odessa American in 1987. Three months later, she was hired at the Dallas Morning News, where she worked until 1999. Walgren was part of a team of journalists at the Dallas Morning News that received the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their series on violent human rights abuses against women worldwide. Her work for the series highlighted women in Islam and female genital mutilation. She was the first person to photograph one of the ceremonies in Somalia. In 1998, Houghton-Mifflin published her book, Natinga, in which she chronicled the lives of the “Lost Boys” while they still lived in Southern Sudan. Among Walgren’s other achievements are an Award of Excellence from the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, The Harry Chapin World Hunger Award, The Barbara Jordan Award for reporting on people with disabilities, the APME Photojournalism Award, the APME Sweepstakes Award, The Headliner Award for Feature Photography, The Texas Council Against Violence Award and Editor and Publisher People’s Choice Photo of the Year.
She is now Professor of Practice in Photojournalism and New Media at Michigan State University.


Griff Singer Award

Olin Hinkle is recipient of the Griff Singer Award, which honors someone who did not work on The Texan, but contributed to the success of its staffers and the student newspaper. Professor Hinkle (1902-1982) was an editor of several dailies in Missouri, Kansas and Texas before he began teaching, first at West Texas State University, and then for 26 years at the University of Texas. Prior to teaching, he worked on the Sweetwater Reporter, Blackwell (Okla.) Tribune-News and the Lexington (Ky.) Herald. He helped to establish the Pampa Daily News and served as its first editor for a tenure of 11 years. A native of Lawrence, Missouri, he held a bachelor of journalism degree from West Texas State University and a master’s of journalism from the University of Missouri. A teaching excellence award winner, he taught hundreds of students in his editing classes and influenced other journalists through his work judging newspaper contests across the country and working with the University Interscholastic League (UIL).  He was author of the book “Printed Forms for Newspapers” and co-author of “How to Write Columns.” A frequent contributor to the Texas Press Messenger, Professor Hinkle did extensive research in typography, photography and small-city newspaper editing and management. He retired from teaching at UT in 1972 when he was awarded TPA’s Golden 50 Award. He died in 1982 in Austin.  The UT chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honor society for students in journalism and mass communication was established in 1961, and is named in honor of Hinkle. He was a recipient of the Moody College Teaching Excellence Award in 1972. Among his other achievements, Hinkle was instrumental in developing what was then a state-of -the-art Texan composing room in the early 1950s.


Rising Star Award

Demi Adejuyigbe is the recipient of the Rising Star Award, recognizing outstanding young professionals just getting their start. He is an accomplished writer, podcaster, comedian, and digital producer. He is currently a writer for the NBC talk show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and he was named one of Vulture magazine’s “Comedians You Should and Will Know” in 2018. He has also written for hit shows, “The Good Place” and “New Warriors”. His writing has also appeared on The New Yorker, The Guardian, Thought Catalog, College Humor, and The Hairpin. He was the co-host of the podcast, “Gilmore Guys”, which attracted a massive audience and was downloaded close to 200,000 times per episode, with cast members coming on to the podcast and Demi and his co-host making a cameo on the renewal of the show. Additionally, his musical parodies raised tens of thousands for charities and got him named “the Weird Al of his generation” by Pitchfork.