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With $25K Gift, Tribune Thanks Merrill College for Sharing Bureau After Shootings

Annapolis Newspaper Staff Worked From Site for Nearly a Year

By Alexander A. Pyles

Exterior of Knight Hall

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

A donation from Capital Gazette’s parent company recognized the Philip Merrill College of Journalism for helping to keep the newspaper running after a deadly shooting at its Annapolis office last summer.

Capital Gazette’s parent company donated $25,000 to the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism today, recognizing the college’s assistance in the aftermath of last summer’s deadly shooting at the newspaper’s Annapolis office.

Tribune Publishing Chairman David Dreier and Baltimore Sun Media Publisher and Editor in Chief Trif Alatzas—a member of the college’s Board of Visitors—made the gift a day before the one-year anniversary of the attack, when Merrill College alumni Gerald Fischman ‘79 and John McNamara ‘83, adjunct faculty member Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were killed in their workplace.

“This is for everything you’ve already done,” Dreier told Merrill College faculty and staff during a visit to John S. and James L. Knight Hall. “We can’t thank you enough.”

Hours after the June 28, 2018, shooting, Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish offered the college’s Capital News Service bureau in Annapolis as a temporary workspace for the Capital Gazette staff. 

“Three days later, our newsroom was back at work in the community they serve thanks to the generosity of the University of Maryland,” Dreier and Alatzas wrote in a letter explaining the donation. “Capital News Service Annapolis Bureau Director Karen Denny opened her doors and welcomed our staff each and every day during the past year. She has played a large role in helping our staff move forward.”

Capital Gazette employees moved into a new, permanent newsroom this month. The arrangement with CNS was made public for the first time in a series of vignettes published last week.

Dreier and Alatzas thanked Dalglish, Merrill College Board of Visitors Chair Cathy Merrill Williams, whose father, Philip Merrill, was Capital Gazette’s longtime owner, and the university community “for providing us the shelter we needed to keep practicing our journalism.”

Merrill College also dedicated the Capital Gazette Memorial Seminar Room in Knight Hall in December and created the first awards in memory of Fischman, McNamara and Hiaasen in May.

Dalglish said Merrill College faculty, staff and students were grateful for the opportunity to help under terrible circumstances.

“The last year has been horrible,” she said. “But it’s been a privilege and an honor.”


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