SJMC Celebrates 100 Years of Excellence

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During Al McCoy’s induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, he paid tribute to Drake University.

Growing up on his family’s farm in Iowa, Al, FA’54, listened to sporting events on the radio and dreamed of a career in broadcasting.

Al, the longtime voice for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, credits his experiences at Drake for helping him achieve his aspirations. Al says the broadcast classes he took at Drake, and the mentorship he received from former journalism professor Jim Duncan, were influential in his career trajectory.

Since graduating from Drake, Al has been inspired to give to the University, most recently contributing to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Centennial Fund—created in celebration of the school’s 100-year anniversary to ensure continued excellence.

“I derived a great deal from my time at Drake University, and fortunately, I have been in a position to give back,” says Al.

Al adds the milestone anniversary provides a chance to reflect on the school’s significant success in preparing graduates for their careers.

“I have been really impressed with the opportunities students have in both the writing and in the broadcasting areas,” he says.

Throughout its history, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication has benefited from the volunteerism and philanthropic investments of its alumni and the community. Because of this support, SJMC remains a leader in journalism education: Drake’s student publications and creative work have received many national awards for their quality; 98 percent of 2018 SJMC graduates held at least one internship during college; and in 2018, 99 percent of journalism graduates had jobs in their fields or attended graduate school within six months of graduation.

“The school is adapting very well to this challenging environment,” says David Fausch, JO’57, a veteran journalist, editor and communications leader. “They are on their game, and I give because I want that to keep happening.”

To make a gift in celebration of the School of Journalism’s 100-year anniversary, or to give to another area within the University, please contact John Amato at or 515-271-2849.