William Jamieson creates Public Affairs Scholarship for JOUR Students

Feb. 1, 2023

“Anybody that knows anything about politics knows that local journalism is crucial,” Jamieson said at the school event.


Hunter Metcalf hands School of Journalism Director Jessica Retis a check to symbolize the creation of a new JOUR student scholarship on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022.


University of Arizona School of Journalism alumnus William Jamieson (65’) and his granddaughter Hunter Metcalf (21’) visited last semester to celebrate the creation of a new JOUR scholarship.


Metcalf, a UArizona neuroscience and cognitive science alumna, handed Director Jessica Retis a check to symbolize the establishment of a new scholarship for the School of Journalism known as the Jamieson-Metcalf Family Scholarship for Public Affairs in Journalism.


Thanks to the generous donation of the Jamieson/Metcalf family, the scholarship will be available to journalism students in perpetuity. The scholarship will also be renewable if the awardee demonstrates academic success.


“Anybody that knows anything about politics knows that local journalism is crucial,” Jamieson said at the school event.


Jamieson tells event attendees about his experience working at The Daily Wildcat student newspaper in the 60s.


 Jamieson was surrounded by faculty, staff and students as he recounted tales of his time at the journalism school in the 60s. As a student, he reported for The Daily Wildcat student newspaper and rose to the position of sports editor.

He was told they were the first newspaper to break the President Kennedy assassination story in Arizona.


“We were told we were the first Arizona paper to hit the street after the Kennedy assassination and we were running all over campus doing interviews,” Jamieson said. “The really good writers were back at the journalism school, and we would jump out of the street-level windows, run out and fill our notebooks with interviews, run back, toss them in and then go back out and do it again.”


Jamieson was heavily influenced and mentored by former Director Sherman Miller, and former professor and Director Philip Mangelsdorf.


“He (Miller) was right out of the movies of an old-time journalist, cigarette dangling from his mouth,” Jamieson laughed. “He was a little crusty, but he kept me going and helped me improve my writing.”


Staff, faculty and students pose for a photo with Jamieson and Metcalf before saying goodbye.



Jamieson accumulated a vast portfolio of experience over the years that includes journalism, public relations, politics, education, nonprofit work, business and philanthropy. In 1989, he was ordained in the Episcopal Church and served the Diocese of Arizona as archdeacon.


“Bill Jamieson embodies philanthropy, generosity and public affairs,” Gail Godbey said. Godbey is the former associate director of development at the UArizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Although he never worked in the news business, Jamieson said that his journalism school education was a major factor in building his career. He said he wanted to invest in the School of Journalism because he owes the school so much.


“I knew how to shorten things, communicate better and look at events and issues in more than one way,” Jamieson said. “And to question everything.”


The Jamieson-Metcalf Family Scholarship will be reserved for students who show a vested interest in public affairs reporting.


“Two journalists who covered my work in Arizona became close friends after I left the public arena,” Jamieson said. “I think that the major difference between then and now is that even when we were adversaries, we respected each other as people and as professionals.”


At the school event, Jamieson described how journalists and politicians needed to develop symbiotic relationships to be successful in the past. Journalists relied on politicians for information and politicians relied on journalists to communicate with the public. This, however, has changed with the advent of the internet and social media. Jamieson hopes the students who receive the Family Scholarship will foster respectful relationships with politicians in the interest of the publics’ right know.


“I always think about this next generation and the students who will benefit. I’m a product of scholarships,” Dr. Retis said to Jamieson during the event. “I just love when I turn on the TV and see my former students, thank you so much.”


Metcalf will inherit the guardianship of the scholarship after Jamieson. Jamieson said in a follow-up interview that it was important for Metcalf to represent the younger generation of their family to keep the tie between the school and the family. Metcalf was all smiles as she handed Dr. Retis the check and posed for a photo.


“It was such a pleasure to spend time talking with Bill about his impressive career and lifelong respect for journalism,” adjunct and Arizona Daily Star Reporter Caitlin Schmidt said. “His investment in our students is deeply appreciated.”