The McClatchy Company Endows Chair in Communications

MERCED, CA. — When The McClatchy Company purchased the Merced Sun-Star in January 2004, one of its first acts was to begin the process of creating an endowed chair at the University of California, Merced. The company';s gift of $500,000 is now finalized and UC Merced today (October 4, 2004) announced the McClatchy Chair in Communications, which will support an outstanding faculty member in journalism, broadcasting, photojournalism, media, media studies or other related fields.

"The McClatchy Company';s leadership in the world of newspaper and Internet publishing is matched by its commitment to serving and investing in communities," says Esteban Soriano, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement at UC Merced. "By endowing a chair at UC Merced, the visionaries at McClatchy are giving life to the future of journalism and media - fields they understand are founded in the broad discipline of communications."

Soriano, a former journalist himself, was present for the official announcement of the gift this morning. Also attending will be UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, representatives of The McClatchy Company, and other university and media officials. The event took place at the site of the new campus in Merced, where the library, classroom, and science and engineering buildings are under construction in preparation for the university';s first undergraduate students, who will arrive next September.

The future holder of the McClatchy Chair in Communications will teach and pursue research in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at UC Merced. Although a communications major is not approved for the opening year of UC Merced, it is likely to be added as the university experiences rapid growth in the next several years.

"The McClatchy Company makes gifts in all the communities where we have newspapers," says Hank VanderVeen, publisher of the Merced Sun-Star. "This one is especially important because the Sun-Star is a starting point for individuals in the McClatchy organization. UC Merced-trained journalists from the San Joaquin Valley will help us maintain strong, diverse newsrooms in the future."

"UC Merced will provide the opportunities of a first-class education for area students who might not be able to go away to college," adds Lynn Dickerson, president and publisher of The Modesto Bee. "The McClatchy Company has a longstanding commitment to the San Joaquin Valley, and there';s no way we';d miss out on being a part of that opportunity."

An endowed chair is created with a gift of $500,000 or more to UC Merced. That gift is then invested, and the proceeds from the investment are used to support a faculty member in his or her teaching and research efforts. In this way, a gift to the university can truly continue in perpetuity.

The McClatchy Company is a leading newspaper and Internet publisher headquartered in Sacramento. Among the 12 daily and 18 non-daily newspapers McClatchy publishes are The Sacramento Bee, The Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee and the Merced Sun-Star, as well as other major newspapers nationwide. McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

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