New Hall of Fame class features 14 inductees

Nov. 29, 2021


For their significant achievements and service to journalism and society, 13 individuals and one family will be inducted next year into the second class of the University of Arizona School of Journalism Hall of Fame.

Inductees are Edith Auslander, H. Darr Beiser, Bobbie Jo Buel, Lynn DeBruin, Carmen Duarte, David Fitzsimmons, Patty Weiss Gelenberg, Dan Hicks, Jim Johnson, the Kramer family, Nicholas Proffitt, George Ridge, Ernest Sotomayor and Michele Stephenson. DeBruin, Proffitt and Ridge will be honored posthumously.

The 2022 class will be inducted Saturday, April 9, at the Center for Creative Photography with an outside brunch at 10:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony inside the auditorium.

“These groundbreaking journalists, accomplished broadcasters and foundational faculty members made their mark in community journalism and on the national stage,” said Prof. Michael McKisson, interim director of the school. “Please join me in honoring them in April.”

Tickets are available here, and proceeds will go toward student scholarships and reporting projects. Supporters also can sponsor a student to attend the ceremony, or make a contribution to the school in honor or memory of an inductee.

A look at the 2022 class (UA Journalism graduation year in parentheses):

  • Edith Auslander (’61): UA Journalism professor and Arizona Daily Star journalist; National Association of Hispanic Journalists founder; Arizona Board of Regents president (first Hispanic woman on board); coordinated UA's diversity initiatives and scholarships for low-income students.
  • H. Darr Beiser (’76): Longtime USA Today photographer who covered five presidents and got his start at Tucson Citizen. 
  • Bobbie Jo Buel (’79): Retired top editor of the Arizona Daily Star, where she worked for 36 years. Literacy Connects board member who just finished a five-year USS Arizona project of profiles of those killed at Pearl Harbor.
  • Lynn DeBruin (’84): Pioneer female sports reporter in Mesa and Denver who covered NFL teams. Later covered NBA for AP bureau in Utah. She died in 2013.
  • Carmen Duarte (’80): Arizona Daily Star reporter who has covered Tucson for 40 years; author of acclaimed book, “Mama’s Santos: An Arizona Life.”
  • David Fitzsimmons (’77 Fine Arts): Longtime political cartoonist and column writer for the Arizona Daily Star. Pulitzer Prize finalist. 
  • Patty Weiss Gelenberg (’71) First female anchor for major-market Arizona television station at KVOA-TV.
  • Dan Hicks (’84): Veteran NBC golf and Olympics broadcaster who started his career at Tucson's KVOA-TV and CNN. Has called a dozen Olympics, including swimming and skiing, and covered the NFL, NBA and tennis.
  • James W. Johnson (’61): Prof. emeritus at UA J-school. His Reporting Public Affairs (RPA) course was legendary. Former journalist/editor in Oakland. Has written or co-written nearly a dozen books, including bio on Mo Udall and many sports biographies.
  • Kramer family: Owners of Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc., with multiple community news outlets in state, led by Donovan M. Kramer Jr. (’76) and Kara K. Cooper (’79). Their mom, Ruth, started the operation with her late husband, Donovan M. Kramer Sr. Other family members with UA and/or journalism ties include Diana Kramer, Brian Kramer, Zoe A. Cooper, Eric Kramer, and Meaghan and Katie Kramer.
  • Nicholas Proffitt (’68): Newsweek reporter known for his Vietnam and Fall of Saigon coverage. Later became a fiction writer and saw one of his books developed into a 1987 Francis Ford Coppola movie, “Gardens of Stone.” Proffitt died in 2006.
  • George Ridge: Two-time director of the J-school and a professor emeritus; attorney whose press law and ethics course became legendary; negotiated Tombstone Epitaph deal. He died in 2019.
  • Ernest Sotomayor (’77): Retired dean of student affairs at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he also was director of Latin American initiatives. Worked as editor, reporter at Newsday (helping it win two Pulitzers), Dallas Times-Herald and El Paso Herald-Post.
  • Michele Stephenson (’66): Director of photography for Time Magazine from 1987 to 2006. Called a “legend” in photojournalism world. Her book-editing projects included “Passage to Vietnam” and “24 Hours in Cyberspace.”

The inductees join 14 individuals and two couples from the 2018 inaugural class, which also was honored at the Center for Creative Photography. 

Inductees were nominated by alums, friends and family. They were screened and selected by the school's Journalism Advisory Council, which provided its recommendations for final consideration by a faculty vote. Nominees not selected will be considered for the next Hall of Fame.

To submit a nomination, describe in 350 words or less how the candidate has made a significant contribution to journalism, or an equivalent contribution to society. Then email the letter to Mike Chesnick, outreach and Internship coordinator, at — or mail to UA School of Journalism/P.O. Box 210158B/Tucson, AZ 85721-0158. Nominees may include School of Journalism alumni (whether they graduated or attended classes without graduating) and former employees of the School of Journalism, living or deceased.