dean-norton by wulinqing


									                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           n The man who is constitutionally
Thanks, Will
                                                looking for a U.S. journalism school to help    still eagerly showed visitors around our col-          Mary Garbacz, head of Strategic              have begun with a brief overview of the
                                                develop journalism education in Ethiopia        lege’s first-class home.                          Discussions for Nebraska, housed in the J         Coptic Church in Ethiopia, wandered across        unable to pass up a chance to make a pun.
                                                and Kosovo.                                           Under his tenure, faculty numbers           school, seconded that notion. “His leader-        the evolution of rhetoric in ancient Greece,           n The man who takes your pile of mail
By CHARLYNE BERENS                                   Aadland had attended Wheaton               increased from 18 to 33, allowing us to offer     ship style allows individuals to develop their    slipped into First Amendment issues pend-         and, while you’re talking to someone else,
                                                College in Illinois as an undergrad and         more classes and more intense instruction.        own abilities, providing guidelines as neces-     ing in Kosovo or slid through the contem-         moves it to a different part of the office and
Will Norton hired me in 1990, only a few        remembered a professor named Will               We’re among a dozen journalism programs           sary,” Garbacz said. “He is able to see indi-     porary economic policies of Kyrgyzstan, but       then can’t keep a straight face when you
months after he had arrived in Nebraska, to     Norton – Will Norton Sr. Aadland got in         in the nation that are part of the Carnegie       viduals’ abilities and helps to cultivate those   in the end, all roads led to Memorial             confront him about it.
be assistant to the dean. I became full-time    touch with the retired professor to ask         Knight Initiative to help journalism schools      abilities beyond the individuals’ wildest         Stadium — where it wasn’t unheard of for               n The man who chokes up when he
faculty in 1995 and have been teaching ever     which schools would be likely partners. Not     help their students adapt to the new media        dreams.”                                          him to spend hours, sometimes days, ana-          talks to the seniors at the graduation recep-
since. I also was editor of the J Alumni News   surprisingly, Dr. Norton told Aadland his       world. This fall we’ll become part of ABC              All that takes time, of course, and at       lyzing the potential impact of a fifth-year,      tion about the education they received here
from the time Will founded it in 1991 until     son, Will Jr., was dean of the journalism col-  News’ campus news bureaus network. You            UNL Will was in his office pretty much            fourth-string walk-on tight end from              and what they must remember for the
the current issue. I’m honored to write this    lege at Nebraska. Aadland got in touch with     can see more of Will’s achievements at            every day, including weekends – when he           Benkelman.”                                       future.
farewell story about Will and beg your indul-   Will, who saw the opportunities the part-             was in town. He conscientiously answered                Ah, the energy required to be a Husker           n The man who doesn’t cuss and so,
gence of its personal tone.                     nership presented. Off we went on this new,     news.shtml.                                       his e-mail from airports and hotels and           fan! But energy is something Will does not        instead, has to wave his arms, wrinkle up his
                                                international adventure to make the world             As emeritus faculty member Bud Pagel        international universities and from various       lack.                                             face and rant to show his frustration.

              n his first day on campus in      safe for journalism.                            said in a note to Will, “There’s not a single     time zones and at various times of day and              It was when she accompanied the dean             n The man who can get so caught up in
              summer 1990, Will Norton               While the university’s capital campaign    category in the college that you haven’t lift-    night. Always full of ideas. Always excited       to Ethiopia that Creighton realized just how      something funny that he laughs until he
              parked behind Avery Hall, then    of 2000 didn’t exactly pop out of the           ed to a new level — the building, the equip-      about the next thing. Always in a hurry.          much energy Will has. “He just kept going         doubles up and can barely breathe.
              the college’s home. When he       ground, Will took full advantage of the         ment, the endowment, the curriculum, fac-              Faculty member Trina Creighton trav-         and going,” she said. “I never saw him tired.          n The man who gets teary-eyed just
came out of Avery some hours later, his car                                                        ulty publication, faculty governance, the      eled with Will to Ethiopia in 2005. She           I never saw him pause. I never saw him turn       hearing about an act of kindness or com-
was gone — towed because he didn’t have                                                            caliber of our students, the caliber of our    remembers changing planes in Frankfurt,           down an invitation. This man has more             passion.
a UNL parking permit.                                                                              teachers, our national and local reputa-       Germany, in a huge, crowded airport thick         energy than 10 men.”                                   n The man who adores little kids and
     Nineteen years later, as he prepared                                                          tion, our sense of institutional pride, our    with cigarette smoke. Both she and Will                 Will was known for arriving in              will immediately get on his knees to talk to
to leave UNL for Ole Miss, Will still splut-                                                       … well, you know the list.”                    were loaded with video equipment and lug-         Nebraska from Kyrgystan or Ethiopia at            any little person who comes to Andersen
tered about that incident. “My first day on                                                             As Pagel notes, one category that has     gage, but the dean snaked his way through         midnight and showing up in the office             Hall.
campus and someone has my car towed!”                                                              risen to a new level is faculty research and   the crowds so quickly that Creighton could        before 8 the next morning. Michelle                    n The man who does an outlandish
he cried.                                                                                          publication. But it’s research and publica-    barely keep up. “Thank goodness he was            Hassler, assistant to the dean, said she was      imitation of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
     That half serious, half joking rant                                                           tion on our own terms, not those               wearing a red Nebraska baseball cap,” she         always amazed by Will’s ability to bounce              n The man whose office is loaded with
was just one of Will’s characteristics that                                                        imposed from on high. This faculty does        said. “I never took my eyes off that red cap.”    back from international travel.                   photographs of friends and family from, lit-
became familiar to journalism faculty,                                                             some traditional academic research but              Barney McCoy, another faculty mem-                 “One time when we were discussing the       erally, all over the world.
staff and others in the UNL community                                                              mostly not. We write books and magazine        ber, also has fond memories of that red           difficulty of sleeping on long flights,”               n The man who simply cares, deeply,
— along with a tenderheartedness that                                                              articles, we mount photo exhibits, pro-        Nebraska cap. McCoy had landed in Kosovo          Hassler said, “he related how he once took        about people near and far. As Trina
sometimes brings Will to tears, a laugh                                                            duce video documentaries and advertis-         on a cold, drizzly night, prepared to teach a     four Benadryl to ensure some shut eye. But        Creighton said, “He has one of the biggest
that can get totally out of control, a love of                                                     ing campaigns. And, thanks to Will’s           stint at the journalism program in Pristina.      when it came time to disembark, he had a          hearts I’ve ever seen.”
puns that borders on the manic, a work                                                             tenacity, the university looks at that as      He was waiting outside the airport when “it       very hard time walking and — as he                     Matthew Hansen, now an Omaha
ethic and energy that won’t quit and a                                                             evidence that we know how to practice          suddenly dawned on me that I could barely         described it — he did a slow-motion, high-        World-Herald reporter, graduated from the J
determined vision for what this college                                                            what we teach and says it qualifies a facul-   speak any Albanian. I had only a vague idea       step march off the plane and into the termi-      school in 2003. He remembers an incident
can and should be.                             Dean Norton visits with a student in the newsroom ty member for tenure and promotion.              about how I’d get to my hotel,” McCoy             nal.”                                             from that year’s graduation reception:
     Will Norton became the founding                                                                    Rick Edwards became UNL’s senior          recalled.                                               Undoubtedly, Will told that story with           “My grandmother was there, and
dean of the journalism school at the chance it offered to revolutionize the col- vice chancellor in 1997, arriving with what                           But then, “From across the airport           plenty of self-deprecating laughter. He loves     Norton always remembered her because she
University of Mississippi this summer. He lege’s physical facilities. The goal was to pur- he calls “a great spurt of enthusiasm for              street, I spotted this bright red baseball cap.   to laugh and to make other people laugh.          had an identical twin. Except her twin, my
insists he is an ordinary, innocent, straight- chase the Security Mutual building on ramping up high-powered research on cam-                     It was emblazoned with a big Nebraska “N”               Dane Stickney, an Omaha World-              great-aunt, had just died. Norton heard that
forward man. His friends and colleagues Centennial Mall between P and Q streets pus. … Will, wily dean that he was, knew to                       logo and appeared to be floating and bob-         Herald reporter, was a freshman in 1998. He       news, and he stood with my grandma for a
know better. He is a complex visionary, a and get it renovated. Will joined with the keep his head down in the midst of this                      bing its way through the crowd.                   said he thought the dean would be a serious,      long time.
leader who has fostered the college’s tradi- University of Nebraska Foundation and administrative storm, because he had a dif-                         “When the baseball cap was about 12          academic sort of guy. “I did not                       “There were a million other people
tional commitment to its students and has community leaders to raise the bucks.                 ferent idea. Will had perhaps the most defi-      feet from me, the man beneath it was              expect someone who always had a smile on          there Norton needed to gladhand. I
pushed, pulled and inspired the program              Will was known in the college and else- nite vision for his college of any dean I ever       revealed. He broke through the crowd and          his face, who told jokes, who seemed to love      would’ve forgiven him had his eyes been
into international prominence.                   where on campus as a prodigious fundrais- worked with, and it did not turn on the                welcomed me to Kosovo. He had a big,              every single second of his job. But with Will,    darting around, looking for a way out.
     Will had a hard act to follow. Neale er, although he liked to say he thought peo- research model.” Will kept insisting that “it              toothy grin and sturdy handshake. That            that’s exactly what I got. … What we do is        Instead he held her hand and he listened.
Copple, the dean he succeeded, had taken ple gave to the college just because they felt is quality, not its form, that matters,”                  man was Will Norton.   Suddenly, Kosovo           serious, to be sure, but Norton helped                 “I’m sure Norton doesn’t remember
the program from department to school to sorry for him. Regardless of the reason, they Edwards said. And that notion prevailed.                   became a familiar place.”                         remind everyone journalism is supposed to         this. I bet my grandma doesn’t either. I do,
college. When Will came, he repeatedly told did give. The building was purchased, reno-               But it wasn’t just chancellors and vice          For Will, Memorial Stadium was also a        be fun.”                                          though, and it’s weird how a simple act of
everyone he wasn’t going to change a thing. vated and furnished entirely with private chancellors who felt the strength of Will’s                 familiar place. The man fell head over heels            So Will Norton has vision, determina-       compassion can stick with you forever.”
But, of course, he did. He recognized and money.                                                vision and determination. During his 19           for Nebraska football. Not that it always         tion, fundraising skill, energy, the leadership        Compassionate, driven, talented,
built on the foundation Neale had laid for           We moved here in August 2001, awed years, Will has built strong partnerships                 made him happy. In fact, it often led to          abilities of a successful politician and a        funny, visionary and sometimes just a little
the college. He knew if we didn’t keep mov- by the quality of our new surroundings. We with other parts of the campus. Jack Oliva,                some of his famous rants about what was           boundless sense of humor. But those of us         weird. Will is all of that, and it is all of that
ing, the world would leave us behind. So he hadn’t realized how ratty things were over in dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and             wrong or what should be fixed, who should         who have worked with him will also miss           that we will miss. But as he leaves Nebraska,
planned ahead.                                   Avery Hall until we got to Andersen. Thanks Performing Arts, said he has appreciated             go and who should stay.                           Will, the character:                              he takes with him the gratitude of hundreds
     He also took full advantage of opportu- to a major donation from and other dona- Will’s “willingness to forge new and inter-                      Faculty member Joe Starita remembers               n The man who sings hymns — or              who have benefitted from his leadership, his
nities that dropped from the sky or popped tions in support of Harold and Marian esting collaborations with others, and of                        those discussions: “My conversations with         “There Is No Place Like Nebraska” — as he         humor and his kindness.
out of the ground in front of him. For Andersen, the building was named course, in particular, our college.   He is a                             Will ultimately ended, without fail, in dis-      works in his office, sometimes loudly                  Thanks, Will. And we’re really sorry
example, Oyvind Aadland, then with Andersen Hall. Even eight years later, Will terrific colleague.”                                               cussions of Nebraska football. They may           enough to be heard in the lobby.                  your car got towed.                            n
Gimlekollen University in Norway, was
  4 SUMMER 2009 33                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           J ALUMNI NEWS         5
DEAN’S COLUMN By Will Norton Jr.

Oh, how the years go by!
Dean predicts bright                                                      what journalism
                                                                          education should
                                                                                                 Dean Copple and their faculties.
                                                                                                      Indeed, Copple’s faculty members
                                                                                                                                               of the St. Paul Pioneer Press;
                                                                                                                                                    JOE WEBER, former Chicago bureau
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nebraska has become our identity.
                                                                                                                                                                                               When I travel I usually wear a red baseball
future for CoJMC                                                          be. He had helped      were unwavering in their commitment to        chief of Business Week;                         cap with a white Nebraska “N.” Aggressive
                                                                          me understand          principles that produced outstanding               PHIL WILLETT, senior art director at       parents and friends often stop at my chair
                                                                          that the goals he      graduates whose professional achieve-         BBDO in New York and other major agen-          in airport Red Carpet Clubs and ask how
                                                                          had     expressed      ments enabled the school to continue to       cies in Boston and New York; and                to help their field goal-kicking son or
                                                                                                                                                    SCOTT WINTER, a former newspaper           bruising running back get an evaluation

       t seems like just a few years ago in                               were     achieved      advance.
       mid-afternoon on a Sunday in                                       through an un-              We hired several outstanding gradu-      reporter in North Dakota.                       from the Nebraska staff.
       August 1990 that I pulled into                                     complicated and        ates of UNL:                                       Outstanding faculty members had                 On the road, I often break out singing
       Lincoln with a trailer full of books                               basic curriculum            TIM ANDERSON, former news design         been hired by Dean Copple and continue          “There is no place like Nebraska.” It may be
       and moved into a small apartment                                   that was in place      editor of The New York Times;                 to be part of our college:                      on the Great Wall of China, along the walk
on South 17th Street.                                                     at the University           RUTH BROWN, newspaper and maga-               RICK ALLOWAY from KFOR and Bailey          in front of the Kennedy Library at Addis
     I was not a national figure like the
three administrators who preceded me.
                                                                          of Nebraska and
                                                 in the dedicated faculty who had been
                                                                                                 zine editor and radio staffer who has
                                                                                                 taught for many years at the University of
                                                                                                                                               Lewis in Lincoln;
                                                                                                                                                    JOHN BENDER, from small newspa-
                                                                                                                                                                                               Ababa University or in a park in Bishkek,
                                                                                                                                                                                               Kyrgyzstan. I love this place, and I am bull-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Berens named
Indeed, faculty wondered what kind of
hire this was. I realized it would be diffi-
                                                 hired. I took in every word and became a
                                                 true believer.
                                                                                                      KATHRYN CHRISTENSEN, former
                                                                                                                                               pers in Missouri and Kansas;
                                                                                                                                                    NANCY MITCHELL, from Harte Hanks
                                                                                                                                                                                               ish on the University of Nebraska. I believe
                                                                                                                                                                                               Chancellor Harvey Perlman has it advanc-        interim dean
cult, but I wanted to be in Lincoln at the            That is why, despite faculty anxiety       managing editor of the Baltimore Sun, for-    newspapers in Texas;                            ing at an unimaginable pace, and I believe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rofessor Charlyne Berens was named CoJMC’s interim
University of Nebraska. Dean R. Neale
Copple had established a national reputa-
                                                 about a change in administrators, I
                                                 thought my stewardship at Nebraska
                                                                                                 mer director of “ABC World News Tonight
                                                                                                 with Peter Jennings” and former vice pres-
                                                                                                                                                    JERRY RENAUD, from radio stations in
                                                                                                                                               Florida and Nebraska;
                                                                                                                                                                                               the current capital campaign is going to be
                                                                                                                                                                                               exceptionally successful.                       P    dean, effective July 1.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Berens has taught journalism full time at UNL since
tion for the college. He clearly was the         would be effective. We had led in solid         ident of TV for the Wall Street Journal;           LINDA SHIPLEY, from an ad agency in             I have no doubts that the College of
alpha administrator in journalism educa-         improvements at Ole Miss. So I was sure              CARLA KIMBROUGH, former associate        New York; and                                   Journalism and Mass Communications is           1995. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia
tion, and his college was the place to be.       the faculty eventually would realize that I     editor of the Denver Post;                         LARRY WALKLIN, directly from Ph.D.         set to move to the next level. The students     University in Seward, and an M.A. and Ph.D., both in polit-
     I knew there had only been three            shared their values and would be successful          MARY KAY QUINLAN, former reporter        graduate work at Michigan State.                are among the best on the campus. The           ical science, from UNL.
administrators of the school since 1946.         as their advocate.                              and editor at Gannett News Service;                The faculty members hired during           faculty is the envy of programs throughout              In announcing the appointment, Barbara Couture,
Bill Swindler had been director from 1946                                                             JOE STARITA, former investigative        Dean Copple’s and my tenure have as             the nation. The endowment is solid, and         senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, noted Berens’
to ’56 before leaving to join the faculty of     OH, HOW THE YEARS GO BY!                        reporter for the Miami Herald; and            much experience and work harder than            the facilities are attractive and truly func-   long tenure in the college, her leadership style and strong
the School of Law at William and Mary.           I had first learned of the School of                 SRIYANI TIDBALL, owner of two adver-     any faculty I know. They are incredible.        tional.                                         reputation among faculty and media professionals.
Bill Hall had served for 10 years until 1966.    Journalism at UNL during the fall of 1972       tising agencies in Sri Lanka.                                                                      Now we move on, but Nebraska               Berens’ connections with students and strong teaching
His prize hire was a fellow named Neale          after the school had received a glowing              The faculty made other great hires of    OH, HOW THE YEARS GO BY!                        always will be with us. While I no longer       credentials also are important for the college’s future,
Copple, and Neale had been director of the       accreditation review from a visiting site       outstanding professionals with intellectual   They have been a source of strength and         will be dean this fall when classes begin, my   Couture said.
school until 1985 when he was named              team chaired by Ed Bassett of the               depth:                                        productivity that is recognized throughout      thoughts will be with the college and the               “Having served as a sequence head in the college,
dean of the newly created college.               University of Kansas. I had been at the              CHARLYNE BERENS, former editor of        the world, and this June 30 when I turn off     faculty.                                        Charlyne has demonstrated her commitment to the suc-
     No matter what others thought, I            University of Iowa when the School of           the Seward County Independent;                the lights and close the door of my office           As the years go by, Susan and I will be    cess of the college,” the vice chancellor said in an e-mail
believed I could be a good steward of the        Journalism had lost its accreditation. In            SUE BURZYNSKI BULLARD, former            for the last time, I will think of Swindler,    watching your investment in the future.         to faculty. “She will bring to the position a broad knowl-
values of the college. I believed in the prin-   November 1975 two professors, the editor        managing editor of The Detroit News;          Hall and Copple, and, oh, how I will miss       And we will applaud your peerless com-          edge of the college’s programs, challenges and opportuni-
ciples and values Hall and Copple had            of the Daily Iowan, a Ph.D. student and I            TRINA CREIGHTON, former TV               this faculty.                                   mitment to excellence.                          ties.”
established.                                     were sent to Lincoln to see what made the       reporter in Omaha;                                  Nebraska has been our family’s home.           We are so proud of this university. We             Berens replaced Will Norton Jr., who is leaving for
                                                 Nebraska school so special.                          MARY GARBACZ, reporter for newspa-       Our children have advanced from kinder-         are so proud of this college.                   the University of Mississippi. The search for a permanent
THE IDEAL MENTOR                                      Unfortunately, we hit a blinding bliz-     pers and television stations in Nebraska;     garten and second grade to graduate from             We will never forget you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               replacement for Norton will begin in August.
Copple was a mentor. He gladly offered his       zard in Newton, Iowa, and barely made it             FRAUKE HACHTMANN, former staff           the university and stand on the threshold            Oh, how the years go by!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “I’m honored but also maybe a little bit shell-
services and advice because he wanted to         to Des Moines before the freeway closed.        member in marketing for the Huskers;          of professional careers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               shocked,” Berens said. “I appreciate the confidence the
improve journalism education. He had             We were able to get a place in a motel for           MICHELLE HASSLER, former reporter              I love this place and will miss the sun        “And when the storms came through
                                                                                                                                               rising over Centennial Mall as I scurry to a         They found me and you,                     chancellor and senior vice chancellor have shown in me,
helped the Department of Journalism at           the night, and by the time the roads were       and editor at the Lincoln Journal Star;
the University of Mississippi to integrate       cleared we had to head back to Iowa City.            BARNEY MCCOY, former TV reporter         meeting in the Union. I will long remem-             Back to back together.                     and I also appreciate the support I’ve received from my
broadcasting into its curriculum, and he                                                         and anchor in Detroit and Ohio;               ber watching youngsters visiting the neigh-          And when the sun would shine               colleagues in journalism. This was not something I sought,
had promoted that program. He had                OH, HOW THE YEARS GO BY!                             BRUCE MITCHELL, former videograph-       boring Lincoln Children’s Museum run-                It was yours and mine,                     but I’m very happy to do whatever it takes to help the col-
helped me become a member of every               In the 19 years since that late August after-   er with Snitily Carr in Lincoln;              ning and tumbling in front of Andersen               Yours and mine forever.”                   lege continue to move forward.”
major journalism committee on which an           noon when I arrived in Lincoln, faculty              LUIS PEON-CASANOVA, former staffer       Hall on the grass of Centennial Mall. I will                                                            Her colleagues lauded the appointment. “Dr. Berens
educator might serve. At national meet-          advancement has been significant, and the       at Nebraska Educational Telecommunica-        treasure memories of drinking coffee while                                   — Composed by      embodies all the characteristics of a great leader,” said
ings, we always had talked for hours. He         university is establishing itself as a center   tions;                                        sitting at the Holman Plaza. I hope to get                    Will Jennings and Simon Climie    associate professor Barney McCoy, who taught a class
devoted a lot of his time to talking with        of excellence on the Great Plains. Those             LAURIE THOMAS LEE, with experience       back every year to savor the mounting ten-                                                      with Berens last year. “She is hard-working and talented,
young administrators.                            benchmarks have been met by following           in radio;                                     sion before a big game in Memorial                                                              firm, yet fair. She brings people together.”             ››
     He communicated a broad vision of           the values articulated by Director Hall,             BRUCE THORSON, former photo chief        Stadium on a cloudless October afternoon.
6    SUMMER 2009         33                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               J ALUMNI NEWS                  7

            Professor Joe Starita called Berens “the consum-
                                                                  Remembering Will Norton
    mate team player.” She “is superbly well-organized, has a     J Alumni News asked faculty, staff, students      me, with a great spurt of enthusiasm for           be correct. His leadership style allows indi-     Benadryl to ensure some shut eye. But when         SHANE PEKNY
    ridiculous work ethic, genuinely loves the profession and     and other UNL administrators to tell us           ramping up high-powered research on cam-           viduals to develop their own abilities, pro-      it came time to disembark, he had a very           2003 GRADUATE
    the students and has the patience of Job — a critical qual-   some of the things they especially remem-         pus. Will, wily dean that he was, knew to          viding guidelines as necessary. He has            hard time walking and — as he described it                Will is a pretty high-energy leader —
    ity when called upon to oversee a herd of high-strung,        ber about Will.                                   keep his head down in the midst of this            always had an ability to use his sense of         — he did a slow motion, high-step march off        always moving, always thinking. But he did-
    overwrought adrenaline junkies posing as journalism pro-                                                        administrative storm, because he had a dif-        humor to calm ruffled feathers and move           the plane and into the terminal.                   n’t hesitate 10 years ago to slow down and
    fessors,” he said.                                            TRINA CREIGHTON                                   ferent idea.                                       issues forward.                                        Andersen Hall won’t be the same place         discuss with me the future and my place in
            Students also were pleased. “I think Dr. Berens was   FACULTY MEMBER                                         Will had perhaps the most definite                 He is a leader, mentor and friend. He is     without him. He was a terrific boss who            it. I still value that conversation; Will started
    a smart choice,” said Emily Ingram, a senior news-editori-         My fondest memories of our dean              vision for his college of any dean I ever          able to see individuals’ abilities and helps to   always kept up our spirits with his wonder-        me on a path that, given another chance, I
    al and advertising major. “She will no doubt keep things      began when I had the good fortune to              worked with, and it did not turn on the            cultivate those abilities beyond the individu-    ful sense of humor.                                would take again and again.”
    running smoothly and continue the progress made by the        accompany him on my first trip to Ethiopia.       research model. Unlike Columbia and                als’ wildest dreams.
    college to adjust during a time of great change in our        That’s when I began to understand the cal-        Missouri and some other J schools where all                                                          BARNEY MCCOY                                       CHUCK PIPER
    industries.”                                                  iber of the man I call Dr. Norton.                the energy is poured into graduate, even           MATTHEW HANSEN                                    FACULTY MEMBER                                     EMERITUS FACULTY
            Berens has taught news writing and reporting,              We were in the crowded Frankfurt air-        Ph.D., programs, Will’s college would live         2003 GRADUATE                                     Unflappable. The word describes Will so                 Every time I walk into Andersen Hall, I
    editing, freedom of expression and writing for online pub-    port, which is huge and thick with cigarette      for undergraduates (and some master’s stu-               I wandered into Dean Norton’s office        well. His zest for life, his optimism, his will-   am grateful anew for the difference you’ve
                                                                  smoke. I’m loaded down with video equip-          dents), and it would focus on preparing peo-       maybe a dozen times over the years and            ingness to do whatever it takes for our col-       made in the lives of our students and facul-
    lications as well as a media survey course for majors and
                                                                  ment. Will and I are trying to make our way       ple to practice their craft in the real world of   never left disappointed. I would go in with a     lege to succeed. I’m not sure the word “no”        ty. You tend to be self-effacing about your
    non-majors. She helped produce “Renovating the
                                                                  through the crowd. Thank goodness he was          journalism. His faculty would, of course, do       question, maybe, or a specific topic to dis-      is in Will’s vocabulary.                           contributions. I think you need to take own-
    Republic,” the depth-reporting magazine about Germany
                                                                  wearing a red Nebraska baseball cap               research and publish, but Will’s vision            cuss. Within minutes Norton would be                    Whether it’s leading a UNL delegation        ership of your accomplishments and justifi-
    published in August 2007, and “Fabric as Narrative,” a
                                                                  because that was the only way I could keep        meant that the college kept its focus tightly      bemoaning the fate of Nebraska football,          to meet with foreign dignitaries or picking        able pride in them. You’ve made a tremen-
    magazine about international quilting published in 2008.      up with him. He snaked his way through            on its students. A bold idea, when all the top     expounding on Nebraska Press Association          up spent cups and plates after a Husker            dous difference.
    Berens was editor of the journalism alumni magazine           that thick crowd of people so quickly, I was      brass were shouting “Research!”                    v. Stuart, opining on Africa, Mississippi,        pre-football game lunch, Will has always led            I want to thank you for making our stu-
    from 1991 until this spring and is director of UNL’s Dow      huffing and puffing. I never took my eyes off          But Will kept to his vision, patiently        those bastards at Northwestern and                by example.                                        dents and our faculty realize that they are
    Jones Newspaper Fund editing internship boot camp each        that red cap; otherwise I would’ve been lost.     building his college and enlisting support         Missouri. Usually all of these, all at once.            I landed in Pristina, Kosovo, three years    better than they imagined they could be.
    May.                                                          That’s when I understood how much energy          for his insistence that it is quality, not its           During one of these visits he repeated-     ago, to teach in one of CoJMC’s many out-               I want to thank you for sharing so many
            She taught junior high English before spending 14     our dean has. He just kept going and going.       form, that matters. It meant hiring faculty        ly called a certain former Nebraska football      reach initiatives. It was a cold, windy, drizzly   years of your life with us, for sharing your
    years as editor and co-publisher of the community news-            He would get up early in the morning,        who didn’t always have traditional academ-         coach, “that midget.” I wondered: Had Will        December night. I was tired after a long           extraordinary children. I especially want to
    paper in Seward.                                              and go full speed all day. His day would          ic credentials, but they had something more        Norton never stood still long enough for          trip.                                              thank you for sharing Susan with us. She is
            Her 2006 book , Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward, is a     start with teaching a couple of classes at        valuable — real talent and a commitment to         someone to measure him?                                 After clearing customs and retrieving        a great lady in the finest old Southern defi-
    biography of Nebraska’s former U.S. senator. She has also     the Addis Ababa University. Then he would         seeing their students excel. He enlisted me.             So Norton sometimes reminded me of          my luggage, I stood outside the dank               nition of that phrase.
    written two books about the Nebraska Unicameral               meet with Ethiopian dignitaries throughout        Pretty soon Will, who was going upstream           Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas” (except without         Pristina airport waiting for my ride in a               Most of all, I want to thank you for
    Legislature.                                                  the day, then spend the evening at a profes-      when everyone else was going downstream,           hair) but he also showed a calmer, sweeter        throng of strangers.                               being my friend. You will always have a spe-
                                                                  sor’s home, having dinner with his or her         convinced everyone that his way was right          side at my final J school banquet. My grand-            It suddenly dawned on me that I could        cial place in my thoughts and my heart. I
                                                                  family, which was where he treated all of us      for his college. The stunning record of            mother was there, and Norton always               barely speak any Albanian. I had only a            know that you will make the same wonder-
                                                                  to his “corny” humor. When I would hear           achievements by the college’s students and         remembered her because she had an identi-         vague idea about how I’d get to my hotel.          ful difference in the lives of students and

    T   he College of Journalism and Mass
        Communications’ invites nomina-
    tions and applications for the position
                                                                  one of his puns or corny stories coming, I
                                                                  would groan out loud and roll my eyes. That
                                                                  didn’t seem to bother him, because he never
                                                                                                                    the college’s bright reputation today show
                                                                                                                    his vision was right.
                                                                                                                                                                       cal twin. Except her twin, my great aunt,
                                                                                                                                                                       had just died.
                                                                                                                                                                             Norton heard that news and he stood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               From across the airport street, I spot-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ted this bright red baseball cap. It was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         emblazoned with a big Nebraska “N” logo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            faculty in Mississippi that you’ve made in

    of Dean.                                                      lost a beat, and just kept entertaining the       MARY GARBACZ, HEAD                                 with my grandma for a long time. There            and appeared to be floating and bobbing            JOE STARITA
         A description of the position can                        group. I would tell him to his face, “Oh, Will,   STRATEGIC DISCUSSIONS FOR                          were a million other people there Norton          its way through the crowd.                         FACULTY MEMBER
    be found at:                              you have to stop this.” He would laugh and        NEBRASKA                                           needed to gladhand. I would’ve forgiven                 When the baseball cap was about 12                My conversations with Will ultimately
    journalism/ADjournalism.pdf.                                  continue on.                                           What first comes to mind is the               him had his eyes been darting around, look-       feet from me, the man beneath it was               end, without fail, in discussions of Nebraska
         Applicants must complete the                                  I never saw him tired. I never saw him       Hunchback of Notre Dame imitation, which,          ing for a way out.                                revealed. He broke through the crowd and           football. They may begin with a brief
    faculty/administrative information                            pause. I never saw him turn down an invita-       the first time I witnessed it, totally shocked           Instead he held her hand, and he lis-       welcomed me to Kosovo. He had a big,               overview of the Coptic Church in Ethiopia,
    form at,                            tion. This man has more energy than 10            me and made time stand still.                      tened.                                            toothy grin and sturdy handshake. That             wander across the evolution of rhetoric in
    using requisition #090355.                                    men, and he has one of the biggest hearts              But there are other things. Just this               I’m sure Norton doesn’t remember            man was Will Norton. Suddenly, Kosovo              ancient Greece, slip into First Amendment
         Applications should be received                          I’ve ever seen. He truly loves helping and        June Will and I were part of an incredibly         this. I bet my grandma doesn’t either.            became a familiar place.                           issues pending in Kosovo or slide through
    by September 30, 2009.                                        supporting others. He’s amazing. And I will       intimidating meeting with the chancellor,                I do, though, and it’s weird how a sin-                                                        the contemporary economic policies of
         Send nominations and applica-                            miss him.                                         several vice chancellors, NU Foundation            gle, simple act of compassion can stick with      JACK OLIVA, DEAN                                   Kyrgyzstan, but in the end, all roads lead to
    tions to:                                                                                                       brass and other high-profile folks in which        you forever.                                      HIXSON-LIED COLLEGE OF FINE AND                    Memorial Stadium — where it’s not unheard
                                                                  RICK EDWARDS                                      Will was able to pour oil on troubled waters,            Thanks, Hugo.                               PERFORMING ARTS                                    of for him to spend hours, sometimes days,
                                                                  ECONOMICS PROFESSOR                               see “agendas” that no one was supposed to                                                            What I always admire about Will is his sin-        analyzing the potential impact of a fifth-
    Giacomo Oliva, Dean
                                                                  FORMER SENIOR VICE CHANCELLOR                     know existed and react immediately to              MICHELLE HASSLER                                  cere passion and advocacy for his faculty as       year, fourth-string walk-on tight end from
    Hixson-Lied College of Fine and
                                                                  FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS                              them, creating a favorable outcome for             ASSISTANT TO THE DEAN                             well as his focus on providing meaningful,         Benkelman.
      Performing Arts
                                                                       Will was already at Nebraska when I          everyone.                                               I was always amazed at Will’s energy,        real-world experiences for the students. I              Imagine, then, his reaction six years
    c/o Jelena Gude at                             arrived in 1997 to become senior vice chan-            I have always said Will is a visionary.       especially his ability to bounce back after       also appreciated his openness and willing-         ago when, while supervising a depth-report-
    Telephone: (402)472-3751                                      cellor. I arrived, as Chancellor James            Those of us in lower orbits may not immedi-        traveling overseas. One time when we were         ness to forge new and interesting collabora-       ing project in Cuba, he encountered a wily
    Fax: (402)472-4929                                            Moeser had arrived before me and two              ately understand the distance or extent of         discussing the difficulty of sleeping on long     tions with others, and of course, in particu-      socialist sympathizer who had developed a
                                                                  energetic vice chancellors for research after     his vision, but his insight is always proven to    flights, he related how he once took four         lar, our college. He is a terrific colleague.      Big Red fever by listening to pirated ››

8      SUMMER 2009                  33                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               J ALUMNI NEWS         9
radio broadcasts of Husker games on the           when Dean Norton asked Mary and me if                                                                                                               sausage) and attended my father’s funeral.   I was back in my room. Grad assistant
isolated island. Imagine the pure joy when        we had heard about the cure for the swine      STEVE WALLER, DEAN                                    JUDY YECK                                      Through Will, I became good friends with     Zenebe Beyene later told me that Will had
he learned that this subversive soul mate         flu? When he got nothing from us but puz-      COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL                               OFFICE STAFF MEMBER                            Susan, and I will miss the Christmas gifts   been pacing back and forth in his office that
also believed that Tommie Frazier got             zled looks, he informed us that is was oink-   SCIENCE/NATURAL RESOURCES                                  I remember Will’s walking around back     from Will, which I am sure she picked out.   day, then announced to Zenebe that “I can’t
jobbed out of the Heisman. Imagine the            ment.                                               Unique to the “International Punsters            by his office and elsewhere singing, in a                                                   let Kim wait up there alone” and went to the
unrestrained, unbridled euphoria when he                                                         of the World” (an informal organization               deep voice, “There is no place like            VICKY WHEELER                                hospital to sit with him.
discovered that both the dean of a major          LARRY WALKLIN                                  which must claim Will as one of the charter           Nebraska.” He was so easy to work for.         BUSINESS MANAGER                                  Kim told me that when the doctor came
U.S. journalism college and a communist           FACULTY MEMBER                                 members) and as a tribute to Will’s versatil-         Anytime I said he had a phone call, he took        I had been told that I had a growth in   out and told him “I have no bad news,” Will
cartoonist for a Havana newspaper                     Will has always had an interest in         ity and range in “punning,” all of his puns           it. When I said he needed to see a person,     my lung, which doctors wanted to remove. I   was one big grin, told Kim he was going
marched to the same revolutionary anthem:         acquainting current students with the mass     qualify as his worst — in fact, they are all          he did so. He took time out of his busy        found out on a Thursday, and the surgery     back to the office and left. I would never
It was time for a regime change in Lincoln.       media world “before they hit the earth” by     uniformly witty and bad. I am convinced               schedule, along with two other professors,     was scheduled the following Tuesday. The     have known he was there or that he had
I’ve never seen him happier.                      preserving the “tools of the business” with    that the new in phrase “my bad” was actu-             to nominate me for the Floyd Oldt Sliver Pen   surgery went fine, the growth was not        done that for Kim. That was the most
                                                  the Andersen Hall displays [of antique         ally created as a closer for every one of             Award, and I won. He also took the time to     malignant and I was in recovery mode.        thoughtful, touching thing I’ve ever encoun-
DANE STICKNEY                                     equipment]. To the best of my knowledge        Will’s puns.                                          attend the award ceremony. Outside of              My husband then told me that Will had    tered and one that will always remain in my
2002 GRADUATE                                     there are relatively few university JMC pro-                                                         work he came to my nephew’s organ recital,     come to the hospital to wait with him        heart. Will is a very special man with a
      At some point early or maybe even           grams that blend high tech with history.                                                             my birthday party in Wilber (ate the Czech     through my surgery, but he was gone when     heart as big and caring as the whole out-
before I started at the J school, I heard                                                                                                                                                                                                          doors.                                     n
someone talking about the dean. As a wide-
eyed, soon-to-be freshman from little ol’
Kearney, I had an idea of what a
dean would look like — you know, regal,
                                                                 The Norton Era
upstanding, maybe wearing tweed and               Will Norton became dean of the J school in 1990. Following are some of the high-
horn-rimmed glasses. I didn’t expect Will         lights of his tenure.
       I did not expect someone who always        n    Through the university’s capital cam-           duction has enhanced the reputation                  lished 12 years ago in the advertising    n   A partnership was developed with the         Initiative in 2007. Other members:
                                                                                                       of the college.                                      department to meet student demand.            School     of    Journalism      and         the Shorenstein Center at Harvard
had a smile on his face, who told jokes, who           paign, an insurance company’s build-
                                                                                                                                                            It is now integrated in the strategic         Communication in Kristiansand,               University, the Pulitzer School of
seemed to love every single second of his              ing was purchased, renovated, fur-
job. But with Will, that’s exactly what I              nished and equipped for the College       n    A sophisticated distance-learning pro-                communications major.                         Norway, to create a Graduate School          Journalism at Columbia University,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          of Journalism at Addis Ababa                 the Merrill College of Journalism at
got. Have you ever met someone who loves               of     Journalism      and      Mass           gram was established with a signifi-
what they do more than Will? I don’t think I           Communications at a cost of slightly           cant number of students earning M.A.             n    An annual phone drive was developed           University in Ethiopia in 2004. This         the University of Maryland, the
                                                                                                                                                            at the NU Foundation to provide the           partnership also enabled the UNL             Newhouse School of Journalism at
have. As a student — and, I assume, as a               more than $7 million. The college              degrees without taking classes on the
                                                                                                                                                            college with unrestricted endowment           faculty to begin working in Pristina,        Syracuse University, The School of
                                                       moved to Andersen Hall on                      campus.
faculty member – that’s infectious. What we                                                                                                                                                                                                            Journalism          and         Mass
                                                       Centennial Mall in 2001.                                                                             funds. Giving has totaled about               Kosovo, teaching at the Kosovo
do is serious, to be sure, but Norton helped                                                                                                                                                                                                           Communications at the University of
remind everyone journalism is supposed to                                                        n    Graduate program specializations                      $30,000 a year, significantly more            Institute    of   Journalism     and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       North Carolina, the School of
be fun. And I think most of us had plenty of      n    The full-time faculty increased from 18        were added, and graduate enrollment
                                                                                                                                                            than the $3,000 donated in 1991, the          Communication in 2006. KIJAC is an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Journalism at the University of
                                                                                                                                                            first year of the phone campaign.             independent graduate school that is
fun — with the obvious exception of photo J.           to 33. That does not include the teach-        increased significantly.                                                                                                                         Missouri, the Medill School of
                                                       ing      positions      for    Business                                                         n      Our J Days program has been pol-            pursuing possible accreditation by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Journalism      at     Northwestern
       But Will’s not one-dimensional. Anyone                                                                                                                                                             ACEJMC.
who’s passed through the J school recently
                                                       Communications and Technical              n    Service to the state media increased                  ished and refined and includes alum-                                                       University, the School of Journalism
                                                       Communications.                                                                                      ni   and    media     professionals.                                                       and Mass Communications at
                                                                                                      and intensified. Beginning reporting
knows it’s highly regarded nationally. Its
                                                                                                      students do reporting for two newspa-
                                                                                                                                                            Prominent speakers come to campus         n   The college began co-sponsoring              Arizona State University, the
students — many times smalltown
Nebraskans — tackle international                 n    The college’s endowment increased              pers each semester, and students reg-
                                                                                                                                                            each year to address the honors con-          internships      with     Nebraska           Annenberg School of Journalism at
                                                                                                                                                            vocation.                                     Educational Telecommunications and           the University of Southern California
                                                       more than 2,000 percent before the             ularly do depth reports for newspa-
issues. Will deserves a whole bunch of cred-                                                                                                                                                              the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and
                                                       current economic downturn. Not all of          pers in the western part of the state.                                                                                                           and the Graduate School of
it for that. His efforts have made my degree
                                                       that endowment is with the University                                                           n      The Department of News-Editorial            Performing Arts in 2006.                     Journalism at Berkeley.
more valuable. (As long as newspapers con-
                                                       of Nebraska Foundation. Some              n     Wo r k w i t h t h e N e b r a s ka P r e s s        and the Department of Broadcasting
tinue to, you know, exist.)                            remains in banks or other foundations           Association and the Nebraska
                                                                                                                                                            have merged and are devising new          n   In 2007 the college began consulta-      n   The college was selected as a site for
        I am truly forever indebted to Will            but is committed for college use.                                                                    courses and multimedia news publi-             tion with the American University of
                                                                                                       Broadcasters Association has intensi-                                                                                                           a campus bureau of ABC in spring
Norton. Not for academics. Not for his                                                                                                                      cations to meet the needs of the               Central Asia, helping the program to
                                                                                                       fied. For example, distance-learning                                                                                                            2009.
sunny outlook on life. But for getting the J
                                                  n    The faculty voted in 2004 to restruc-           workshops are offered to members of
                                                                                                                                                            industry.                                      obtain nearly $400,000 in equipment
school moved from Avery Hall to Andersen                                                                                                                                                                   for a media center to serve the uni-
                                                       ture the college by eliminating depart-         the Nebraska Press Association and                                                                                                          n   The college became a partner in
Hall. I only wish he’d moved a little faster. I        ments. The intent was to create an              the      Nebraska          Broadcasters         n       Technical Communication and                 versity and media professionals in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “Planet Forward,” a Web page vehi-
had to spend two years in Avery Hall. As                                                                                                                    Busi-ness Communication have been              the area.
                                                       administrative structure that more              Association.                                                                                                                                    cle for presentation of news and
much as I love prison-issue metal classroom            readily deals with convergence.                                                                      added to the college curriculum.                                                           information on energy and the envi-
doors, that place wasn’t exactly high class,
                                                                                                 n    A professional advisory group was                     These two programs have increased         n   Discussions are under way to initiate        ronment, in 2009.
if you know what I mean.
                                                  n     Depar tmental and college staf fs             established to help the college evalu-
                                                                                                                                                            student credit hour production to             similar graduate programs at the
      But, of course, leave it to Will to make                                                                                                              more than 7,000 a semester from               Universidad Xavier de San Francisco,
us happy. Despite all those smiles, I’m sad
                                                        merged into a business center opera-          ate graduating seniors.
                                                                                                                                                            about 3,000 student credit hours a            in Sucre, Bolivia, and an independent    n   A four-course sales emphasis was ini-
                                                        tion in the early 1990s.                                                                                                                                                                       tiated for students who wish to pur-
to see him go.                                                                                                                                              semester in 1990. These courses are           entity like KIJAC in Tbilisi, Georgia.
                                                                                                 n    J Alumni News magazine has been                       required of business majors, engi-                                                         sue careers in sales. It was imple-
                                                  n      Faculty members with strong profes-           published for more than 18 years.                                                                                                               mented with the support of Lincoln
                                                        sional and intellectual credentials
                                                                                                                                                            neering majors and agriculture            n   The college was selected to be one of        broadcasters Dick Chapin and Roger
FACULTY MEMBER                                                                                                                                              majors.                                       12 programs in the Carnegie Knight
     The best/worst pun I’ve heard was
                                                        were hired, and their scholarly pro-     n    A public relations emphasis was estab-                                                                                                           Larson.

10    SUMMER 2009         33                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            J ALUMNI NEWS      11

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