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]

The envelope, please: 9 new honorees for 2024 Daily Texan Hall of Fame

Who are the 9 new members of The Daily Texan Hall of Fame?

  • They met at The Daily Texan and married; as reporters in World War II, he was at Normandy on D-Day, and died when a German tank attacked his vehicle as the Allies advanced to Paris; she told her editor she needed to go to the front line and ended up at Remagen when the U.S. Army crossed the Rhine into Germany, covered liberation of concentration camps and was at the first linkup of U.S. and Soviet forces.
  • A seasoned journalist and senior New York Times executive for international development, including The New York Times International Weekly, 8-page broadsheet/16-page tabloid mini-Times launched, published as an insert in leading newspapers in 33 countries, seven languages, with combined circulation of 5 million.
  • A UT journalism professor and internationally  known Latina scholar and trailblazer whose work has created the leading Latino/Latina oral history archive in the country, capturing thousands of oral histories of Latinos/Latinas from across the country; considered a giant in the oral history field.
  • A former Texan sports editor who led the Dallas Morning News Sports Day to become the most consistently ranked “best” sports section in the country; former Daily Texan sports editor and Assistant Managing Editor/Sports for the Dallas Morning News since 2005; winner of Associated Press Sports Editors’ prestigious “Grand Slam” and “Triple Crown” awards.
  • An award-winning documentary photojournalist and writer who has focused most of her career on social justice projects such as modern-day slavery, inner-city poverty, immigration and crime; has won awards and honors from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press Managing Editors, Catholic Press and was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.
  • A former Daily Texan editor who led the staff to a Pacemaker award and built a strong career in the public relations and communications industry, with expertise in crisis communications, investor relations and other key finance/marketing areas; a loyal and long-time supporter of the School of Journalism and Media and Moody College.
  • A former vice president for journalism and senior editor at a major U.S. newspaper group and known nationally for his strong support and deep roots to the newspaper industry; senior editor of three major daily newspapers, very active and supportive in newspaper industry professional organizations.
  • A former chairman of the UT journalism department, before that a successful career with the Wall Street Journal in Asia on new delivery systems and coverage of Asia, including as news editor with The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong; has taken journalism education to China; served on TSM board/renegotiating trust agreement.

These are the nine Daily Texan Hall of Fame honorees to be honored March 22 at the 11th annual gathering of Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.

The Friends group is a non-profit organization which supports The Daily Texan in a variety of ways, including financial support, scholarships for students, covering costs of the Texan’s underlying website structure and in other ways as  requested.

In addition to these individuals, also to be honored March 22 are two winners of the  Rising Star Award, which is given to recent graduates who have already made a significant contribution in their field.

One winner is  a Texas politics and government reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; the other Chief Press Officer at the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Below are the biographies of all honorees.

Registration for the event is now open at this link:

Dr. Rachel Davis Mersey, recently appointed Dean of Moody College of Communication, will be the featured speaker at the event.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with an outdoor reception on the Walter Cronkite Plaza,  located between the Texas Student Media building and the Moody College of Communication complex. There will be a variety of food and beverage stations.

Also beginning at 5 p.m. will be a tour and visitation time at the adjacent Daily Texan offices.

The reception ends at 6:45 p.m., and then moves to a nearby Moody auditorium for Dr. Mersey’s address, Hall of Fame selections and the award of scholarships to staff members.

The event will begin at 7:15 p.m. sharp, and end at 9:30 p.m.

Please read details on honorees, even though this is a long article.

It will renew your faith in journalism, both today and for tomorrow. And this also illustrates the talent that comes from the ranks of Daily Texan staff members.


Daily Texan Hall of Fame 2024 honorees


Bill and Ann Harrell Stringer

Bill was the son of the postmaster and publisher of the weekly newspaper in Teague, Texas. Ann’s family was in the oil business in East Texas. Both were on The Texan just before the U.S. entered World War II. They married in 1941 (on Texas Independence Day) in San Antonio where Bill was an editor for WOAI Radio. Both later worked for United Press, first in Columbus, Ohio. They were later dispatched to Argentina, where they covered the rise of Juan Peron. Then United Press brought them back to New York.

Bill left United Press to join Reuters, where he could become a frontline war correspondent. Bill covered the D-Day invasion but was killed as the Allies pressed toward Paris in August 1944. He was 27.

A fellow correspondent wrote a memorial to Stringer just after his death: “You covered the war like a three-ring circus, and Knick (H.R. Knickerbocker of the Chicago Sun) said last night you had more promise than any young writer he knew. I’ve got to hand it to you – you could write like a dream, and nothing ever stopped you from getting a good story. You made it live when it went on paper, Billy, and I’m sorry as hell you won’t be handling the big show ahead.”

President Truman awarded him a posthumous Medal of Freedom.

Ann persuaded United Press and the U.S. Army to give her credentials to cover the war, and she was soon at the front. She saw the site where Bill had been killed and visited his grave in France (Bill was later reinterred in Teague).

In an important step toward moving into Germany, the Americans secured the railway bridge at Remagen March 7, 1945. On March 10, Ann was the first correspondent to cross the bridge.

Ann and her sister correspondents, Iris Carpenter and Lee Miller, filed so many stories during the advance into Germany, they became known as “the Rhine Maidens.” She reported on the discovery and liberation of Nazi death camps.

In April of 1945, she scooped the Allied press corps on the major story of the first link-up of American and Russian forces, clenching the vise that would end the Third Reich.

After the war, Ann stayed in Berlin with United Press. Walter Cronkite, her bureau chief, said that, during the Nuremberg trials, she was especially skilled in unearthing Nazi and U.S. Army documents used in the prosecution of war criminals.

By Cliff Avery, former Managing Editor, The Daily Texan


Gloria Brown Anderson

Gloria is a successful journalist who practiced the highest ideals of the profession at some of the best news organizations in the world.

Some of her ground-breaking accomplishments include at The New York Times, where she held high positions for 21 years (1992-2013), and her earlier work at Miami Today, The Miami News, the Knight-News-Tribune (KNT) Wire, The Charlotte Observer, The Cincinnati Enquirer and other journalism organizations.

At The Times, she created things.  She has always been an innovator.  As vice president of International and Editorial Development in The Times’s News Services Division, and as president of its Syndication Sales Corporation, she inspired and directed the creation of The New York Times International Weekly, which was an insert in leading newspapers in 33 countries and seven languages with a combined circulation of more than 5 million. She created Turning Points, an end-of-year glossy magazine licensed in China, Mexico, Germany, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and many other countries.

Other honors incude: SPJ Hall of Fame, Cincinnati Chapter; National Matrix Award, Women in Communication; International Matrix Award for Career Achievement, Women in Communication; Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin; President of the World Editors Forum, World Association of Newspapers; invited speaker at newspaper, media and educational conferences in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, Montreal, and many other cities around the world and at national professional conferences throughout the United States.

She has been on the Council of Foreign Relations since 2001.  She has been a Pulitzer Prize juror and a member of the Board of Visitors of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has honors from other universities in the United States and abroad.

Always interested in what was happening around her, she began her journey in journalism as a school kid in Lubbock, Texas, where she became editor of the high school newspaper for two years.  Then off to UT-Austin to study in the School of Journalism and work on The Daily Texan throughout college, beginning in 1963 , when she won the award as outstanding freshman worker.

As president of the World Editors Forum, she shared the stage with Bono in Ireland and with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.  She met the Dalai Lama.

As head of The New York Times Syndicate, she met personally with President Gorbachev in Moscow.  He wrote a column for the Syndicate, and he thought he should have more clients and thus more readers.  She was diplomatic and said that people wanted to know his thoughts about current affairs and what the future holds instead of more retellings of things past.  “Gloria,” he said, “you treat me like a junior reporter.  I am GORBACHEV.”  Gloria’s still in touch with his Russian translator. She had lunch on Central Park South with Salman Rushdie to hire him as a columnist (his bodyguards didn’t attend the lunch).  Gloria is a paragraph in Rushdie’s autobiography.

She met with President Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta to discuss his columns.  For months he had been writing about the Hutus and the Tutsis in Africa.  Frankly, readers of The Times weren’t starving to hear even more about the Hutus and the Tutsis, so Gloria told him that in a friendly way and suggested that he might consider alternating columns about them with more personal reflections about his and Rosalynn’s work with Habitat for Humanity or his church.  No, he said, not in an unfriendly way.  But she had to admit defeat.  No more columns from Carter.

One of Gloria’s hundreds of keepsakes is a handwritten note of thanks “for the huge opportunity to work with you and to have had such a learning curve” from the Duchess of York on what appears to be a handmade card with a photo of a horse on the cover.

Gloria stands for the highest professional standards.  And the truth.  She has taught her staff that everywhere she worked.  She credits much of her dedication to the truth and to journalistic integrity back to Mary A. Gardner, who taught Gloria newswriting at U.T.-Austin.

Gloria says that few people in her life were as important as Dr. Gardner, who was a beloved professor but who scared a lot of students because she was a tough grader.  But she was impressed with Gloria, who was her work-study student in the mid-1960s.  At that time, one of Gloria’s brothers died, and his wife and their children moved back to where the wife was from:  Cincinnati.  Dr. Gardner knew the editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer and got Gloria a summer internship there in 1965 so Gloria could live with family members while she was gaining good professional experience.  Dr. Gardner was a lifelong friend of Gloria’s.  Late in Dr. Gardner’s life, after she developed Alzheimer’s, Gloria helped, for years, to care for her and to see that she was taken care of properly.  Gloria was with her when she died.

While she was accomplishing so much in journalism, she took care of her husband for many years and helped so many friends in times of trouble that you couldn’t count them.  Once I asked Gloria how she was able to help her family out so much.  This is what she said:  “My family’s support of me – the youngest of six living children – and their unconditional love always made me feel special.  Neither of my parents finished high school, and none of my four brothers nor my sister got to go to college. They all had to work on the farm.  Nothing has ever given me more joy than to provide my parents and siblings with some of life’s necessities and, occasionally, to surprise them with vacations and celebrations.”

That’s Gloria.

By Richard Cole, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus and John Kerr Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Hussman School of Journalism and Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, PhD, is an accomplished academic, high-achieving historian, trailblazer and all around wonderful and kind person who is extremely generous with her time and talent. Always giving to education and saving history.

Maggie has three areas of focus at UT:

— PhD professor of journalism at Moody College and probably the only one who took one semester to work full time as a KUT reporter so she could better teach audio journalism to her students.

— Creator and director of UT’s highly regarded Voces Oral History Center, which began in 1999 as an oral history project about Latino/Latina vets and civilians from WWII. It has grown into thousands of oral histories of Latinos/Latinas from across the country, including the Korean and Vietnam War vets and civilians, people involved in political and cultural campaigns, mariachis, animators, people who adapted to the COVID pandemic and more. Today Voces is the leading Latino/Latino oral history archive in the country; Maggie is considered the most learned (and beloved) Latino/Latino oral historian. She constantly trains others around the country to follow in her footsteps. She’s the giant in the oral history field. This year is the 25th anniversary of Voces.

She is the director of UT’s renowned Center for Mexican American Studies. First director 50 years ago was Americo Paredes, who wrote the landmark “With a Pistol in his Hand.” The Center is very highly regarded and Maggie has grown its reach tremendously. In particular, she is spearheading a major research project to record the history of Latinas/os/x on the UT-Austin campus.

Maggie has more than 17 years of daily news experience, mostly as a reporter, for the Boston Globe, WFAA-TV in Dallas and the Dallas Morning News. Her first job was as a copy editor for UPI in Dallas. She served as the Morning News U.S.-Mexico border bureau chief, based in El Paso.

Rivas-Rodriguez founded the Voces Oral History Center (formerly the U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project) in 1999, which has videotaped interviews with over 1,800 men and women throughout the country. The project has several components designed to reach audiences ranging from school children, to academics, to the general public. Voces has organized conferences, produced books and mini-documentaries, co-produced a two-act play, (through Arizona State University Public Events and the University of Texas’ Performing Arts Center), created educational materials. Voces has become an international resource for documentary film producers, scholars, journalists and the general public. It is supported by grants, state funds, and private donations.

Rivas-Rodriguez has been active since her college years in volunteer efforts to bring greater diversity to the news media. She was on the committee that organized and founded the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 1982. She began one of the NAHJ’s most successful student projects: a convention newspaper produced by college students and professionals. The convention newspaper became the model for other industry organizations (ASNE, NABJ, AAJA) as a way to develop mentoring relationships and to train students. The NAHJ’s student project, The Latino Reporter, continues to this day.

She received her Ph.D. as a Freedom Forum doctoral fellow from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her masters is from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and her bachelor of journalism degree is from the University of Texas at Austin.


Garry Leavell

Garry Leavell retired this year after a 30-year career at The Dallas Morning News’ SportsDay, the nation’s most decorated sports department.

A Houston native, Garry spent two years at The Daily Texan, starting on the men’s tennis beat before covering Longhorns football and basketball, and Austin City Hall. After graduating in 1989 with a Bachelor of Journalism, he worked at the Killeen Daily Herald and two weeklies in Riverside County, California.

He joined the Odessa American in the summer of 1990, a few weeks before the publication of the landmark book Friday Night Lights, which chronicled the town’s high school football obsession. Garry has been Assistant Managing Editor/Sports for The Dallas Morning News since 2005. He had served deputy sports editor since 2000.

Garry started at the Morning News as a part-time sports copy editor in 1993. He moved to a full-time role a year later and eventually began a series of assigning editor roles in 1996, including leading a 12-person team that covered the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

In 2005, he was named sports editor and later assistant managing editor for sports in 2013. When he left the DMN at the beginning of this year, he was one of only three people to lead SportsDay during its 43-year history. During Garry’s tenure as AME, SportsDay won three Associated Press Sports Editors “Grand Slams,” the organization’s highest honor for digital and print coverage.

He developed a reputation as a mentor in sports and across the newsroom. His stay at the DMN was so long that all four major local pro teams won championships during his tenure. Yes, even the Cowboys.

Garry lives in Plano with his wife, Linda, also a Daily Texan alum and the real editor in the family. Both of their adult children also are Longhorns.


Scott Alan Tagliarino

Scott Alan Tagliarino is a former Editor of The Daily Texan, and a successful public relations and communications expert.

Scott graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism in 1976, then earned a Master of Business Administration, finance and marketing in 1986 at Pepperdine University.

He led The Daily Texan to a Pacemaker Award in 1976 during his time as Editor. After a brief career in journalism as a reporter for United Press International in Dallas, Scott moved into financial communications with Texas Electric Service Company in Fort Worth and then Valero Energy in San Antonio.

In 1984, he moved to California and worked for Fleishman-Hillard Public Relations while earnings his MBA at Pepperdine. In 1991, he became President of the Corporate and Financial Division of Edelman Public Relations in New York City.

After 15 years of mergers and acquisition communications, he was hired by Elliott Management Corporation, a $50 billion hedge fund, as their first Head of Global Communications.

Finally, in 2010, he co-founded Alternative Strategic Communications (ASC) Advisors, a communications firm dedicated to the alternative investment industry. Its mission is to help industry leaders achieve their business and investment goals. The company provides  strategic, hands-on communications counsel and execution to a select group of world-class hedge funds, private equity and venture capital firms. Scott retired from ASC Advisors in 2020.

In 2015, Scott created the Scott Alan Tagliarino Scholarship in Computational Journalism which focuses on data-driven research and reporting, and joined the UT Moody College Advisory Council. In 2017 Scott, and his wife Donna, an RTF alumni of the Moody College, endowed the Scott and Donna Tagliarino Presidential Scholarship focused on supporting aspiring journalists during their studies at the University.


Nuri Vallbona

Nuri Vallbona is a documentary photojournalist and writer who has focused most of her career on social justice stories.

Her love for her Latina roots led her to become an active participant in the National Association of Hispanic journalists where she was one of 35 Hispanic photographers chosen by actor Edward James Olmos to document Latino life for the book, “Americanos.”

The daughter of immigrants from Costa Rica and Spain, she was born in Houston and majored in photojournalism at the University of Texas. She got her start at the Daily Texan which she credits with giving her valuable work experience.

After graduation, she worked for various newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, Houston Post and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Her Latina heritage and language skills facilitated her coverage of Latin America, including the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, a volcanic eruption in Colombia and many immigration issues.

In 1993 she signed on with the Miami Herald where she focused on documentary essays about the community around her for 15 years. She chronicled the enslavement of farmworkers, teen violence, the jailing of the mentally ill and the effects of the housing crisis in South Florida.

In 1999, Vallbona was diagnosed with breast cancer. After multiple surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, she continued to pick up her cameras and document life in South Florida. She has been in remission ever since.

Her work has won her awards and honors from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Catholic Press and others.

She was also a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. In 1999 some of her work from “Americanos” was featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian.

This was followed by a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. More recently, her photographs appeared in the “Suffrage Now” exhibit at the Elizabeth Ney museum and in the book, “The One Ann Only,” about former Texas governor Ann Richards.

Her main focus today is her life with her husband, Kelly Kaufhold, and their children, Vicente and Kachelle. In 2008, she made the transition to writing and freelances using both skills. Currently she teaches photography, writing and reporting at the University of Texas at Austin.


Frank Denton

Frank’s journalism career started in high school and continues with distinction today.

At The Daily Texan, he was a sportswriter and interim sports editor.

He was the senior editor of three major newspapers: The Wisconsin State Journal for 18 years, The Tampa Tribune for one year and The Florida Times-Union for 10 years.  When he was editor of the newspaper in Madison, Wis., he also found time to get his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Beyond his many accomplishments, those who known Frank regard him as an honest, good man who cares about other people and who is dedicated to the highest principles of

journalism and to the public’s right to know. Now in his late 70’s, he has dedicated his professional life to quality journalism.

Professional activities include:

  • Steering committee of the national readership summit conference for the NAA board of directors, 1999. Resulted in the Readership Institute at Northwestern University and the national Impact study.
  • Elected member of the board of directors of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1999-2005.
  • Chair of the ASNE Craft Development Committee, 2002-4; Coverage and Content Committee, 1999-2000; Readership Committee, 1998-99, and Literacy Committee, 1992-93.
  • ASNE representative to the Newspaper Association of America Marketing Committee and founding member of the board of directors of New Directions for News, the national think tank for the future of newspapers.
  • Pulitzer Prize juror, 1995-96.  Judge of Gannett, Scripps Howard Foundation, Cox Newspapers, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, Texas Headliners and other awards.
  • Speaker at American Society of Newspaper Editors, Newspaper Management Center, American Press Institute, Associated Press Managing Editors, Northwest International Circulation Executives, Inland Press Association Key Executives Conference, New York Circulation Managers and Advertising and Marketing Executives, Penney-Missouri Workshops, Poynter Institute for Media Studies, National Writers’ Workshop, Mid America Press Institute, state press associations and editor and circulator meetings of Knight-Ridder, Lee Enterprises, Ottaway and New York Times Regional Newspaper Group.  Guest lecturer at various colleges and universities.
  • Former member of board of directors of Mid America Press Institute.
  • Member of advisory board, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia.
  • Former member of board of visitors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Member of board of directors, Foundation for American Communications, Pasadena, CA.
  • Member of advisory board, Knight Community Journalism Fellows
  • Member of American Press Institute News/Editorial Advisory Board.
  • Consultant for various newspapers and communication companies on strategy, readership and market research, news coverage, newsroom organization and process, writing and editing, feature sections and marketing.
  • Conceived, researched, edited and co-authored The Learning Newsroom, 2003; The Local News Tool Kit, 2001; The Local News Handbook, 1999, and Ways With Words, 1993.
  • Member: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, American Society of News Editors, World Editors Forum, International Communication Association, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (honorary, 1994), Society of Professional Journalists.

By Richard Cole, Ph.D., John Kerr Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus, Hussman School of Journalism and Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Rusty Todd – Hall of Fame award honoring S. Griffin Singer

Rusty Todd, 73, is emeritus journalism professor at the University of Texas, where he taught business journalism, editing and online news production.

He was a longtime visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong, where he helped found its global business journalism program.

Todd joined the Asian Wall Street Journal in 1984 as news editor in Hong Kong.

Later he covered equities markets, mutual funds and banking throughout East Asia for the Journal. He also wrote Your Money Matters column for expatriates, and led a project that automated typesetting of Asian market quotes.

As product development manager for Dow Jones-Telerate in Asia/Pacific, created numerous bundles of Dow Jones news and Telerate data for the Asia-Pacific region. He also negotiated data procurement from Asian stock exchanges and conducted extensive competitive analysis.

Back in New York, he was founding editor of the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Report. In that role, he conceptualized and implemented real-time newswire covering emerging economies.

In 1996 he was co-founder and CEO of Adhesive Media, an early internet automation company that declared bankruptcy in 2001. He was co-designer of Web publishing and data-management software and prepared the initial business plan, turning the company over to professional management. He supervised production of documentation. Revenue in 2000 was $12 million.

He was the first state editor of the Austin American-Statesman and a city editor at Missouri Journalism School’s daily newspaper. He was a copy editor at the Texas Observer. Todd’s first newspaper work was at The Daily Texan in Austin, where he was a reporter and copy editor.

In the early Anthropocene, he earned a doctorate from Stanford University.

He is a board member of the Dow Jones News Fund.

From Burkburnett, Texas, Todd has been married 51 years, and has two daughters and two grandchildren.


Rising Star Honorees


Eleanor Dearman

Elly Dearman is a Texas politics and government reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

She is based in Austin, covering the Legislature and its impact on North Texas.

She grew up in Denton and has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of  Texas at Austin, graduating in 2016. She worked on The Daily Texan.

Previously she worked at the El Paso Times, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, was a Fellow at the Dallas Morning News and was legislative reporter for Quorum Report.




Ellie Breed

Ellie Breed is Chief Press Officer at the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

She graduated in 2019 from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science – Public Relations/Image Management.

She worked at The Daily Texan for 4 years, serving as Managing Editor, Special Projects Editor, News Editor and reporter.

Previous experience includes Media Relations Coordinator at UT-Austin and handling Media Relations, Public & Government Affairs for Exxon/Mobil.

She is from Austin.


About Friends of The Daily Texan:

Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established to lend support and assistance to The Daily Texan, an institution at the University of Texas at Austin since 1900. Members include alumni of The Texan, plus other supporters of a free and unfettered student media at UT. The group sponsors 13 annual scholarships for Texan staffers, plus provides funds to purchase needed video and photo equipment, to support digital transition efforts by The Texan, for training, coverage, travel and other needs identified by Texan editors.