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May 2018
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BIGGEST little City
by Harry Spencer
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Annual University Scripps Dinner

Harry Spencer
Harry Spencer

Usually, when I attend events at the University of Nevada, I visit mainly two venues: Mackay Stadium for football and the Lawlor Events Center for basketball. Those two sites do not afford much of a view of the entire campus. However, one annual event does. It is the Journalism School’s annual Scripps Dinner and Lecture (more later).

When approaching the Joe Crowley Student Union building from the east side of the campus, one sees an astounding number of mega-buildings. These structures fill in what was empty space in the campus of yore. Major buildings now occupy the original football field and the famous “gully” that housed the Quonset huts in which I attended numerous English classes. The Student Union building is a magnificent edifice in itself. Even the former front entrance to the campus will soon become the back door as the two main entrances will be off Virginia Street and at the north end of the football stadium. The core of the school will always be the famous Quad.

Leila Fadel
Leila Fadel

One of the most notable features of the University of Nevada school of Journalism is the annual Scripps Dinner and Lecture. April 9 of this year the 54th annual dinner was held in the Milt Glick Ballroom of the Joe Crowley Student Union building.

The program, which was moderated by Al Stavitsky, Dean of the Journalism School featured as the main speaker Leila Fadel. Ms. Fadel is a well-known foreign correspondent who spent a decade in the Middle East. She is currently employed as a national correspondent for NPR, located in Las Vegas.

The dinner and lecture were started in 1964 by Edward W. “Ted” Scripps II, who was a 1952 graduate of the University.

Featured speaker at the 54th annual Scripps Dinner
Featured speaker at the 54th annual Scripps Dinner was war correspondent Leila Fadel.

I remember that the young Scripps was in several of my Journalism classes at the U and the favorite question many of us used to pose to him was, “Do you have any job prospects after graduation?” Since he was the scion of the Scripps— Howard Publishing Empire, the question required no answer on his part. As it turned out, Ted had a very distinguished journalistic career and died far too early at the age of 57 in 1987. The Scripps—Howard Foundation is the cosponsor of the annual dinner and lecture which is dedicated to Ted’s memory.

I recall the early dinners when Ted himself was present. He would always raise his glass in a toast to “Higgy” to honor the most famous Journalism Prof in the history of the U, Al Higginbotham.

In addition to her lecture about her often dangerous experiences overseas, Ms. Fadel gave thoughtful and lengthy answers during the question and answer period following her talk.

At the start of the evening, following Stavitsky’s welcome, a film presentation was shown that featured numerous photos of the young Scripps at the University plus comments by Prof Warren Lerude, Marilyn Melton, Frank McCulloch and the late Joe Crowley.

The dinner began at 6:30 following a 6:00 reception and the meal was served to a capacity audience by the University staff.

Several outstanding students were introduced by Stavitsky and the evening was capped by the traditional Stetson hat placed on Fadel’s head.