The Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University has a long history of excellence in student achievement, a commitment to first-rate teaching, and high quality research.
Although the department of Communications (as it was then known) was formed in 1964, its roots lie in the departments of Journalism and Speech. In the early 1920s it became possible for students in the department of English to obtain their English degree with a special concentration in Journalism. In 1955, this concentration became popular enough for the University to form a program in Journalism, which in turn became the department of Journalism in 1960. The department of Journalism and the Broadcast sequence, offered by the department of Speech, merged in 1964, combining communication-related elements of the curricula in the newly named department of Communications. Robert A. Mott was the chair, and the department of Communications was located in the old Arts Hall, now known as Murrow East.
Initial emphases offered by the new department were in Newspaper Editorial, Radio and Television, Radio and Television News, and Media Management. Mott remained Chair until 1968, when Hugh A. Rundell took over leadership of the department. By the end of the decade, the department had grown significantly since its inception and had established a strong bond with the broadcasters and print journalists of Washington State.
Under the Chairmanship of Donald E. Wells, the department grew further, and by 1973 was offering additional emphases in Advertising and Cinematography, providing the roots of the department’s commitment to a combination of strong theoretical and hand-on learning. Unfortunately, this expansion, accompanied with a growing number of students certifying in Communications, saw Arts Hall becoming increasingly crowded and unsuitable to the ambitions of a relatively young department.
|Chairs of the Department of Communications|
|Robert A. Mott
Hugh A. Rundell
Donald E. Wells