Thanks to online media, journalism (the profession) is rapidly changing. And on April 20th, Journalism (the building next to Furnald) will be changing as well, renamed “Pulitzer Hall” after Joseph Pulitzer, the early 20th century newspaper magnate who championed sensationalist yellow journalism and funded the creation of both the Pulitzer Prize and Columbia’s J-school, the
first second school of journalism in the nation. (We could have been first, but Columbia initially refused to take Pulitzer’s dirty money, so he gave it to the University of Missouri.)
But this is more than just a spontaneous decision to honor a famous donor; according to a note from J-school dean Nicholas Lemann, the Journalism building probably should have been named Pulitzer Hall 100 years ago. James Boylan, Journalism ’51 and founder of the Columbia Journalism Review, was digging through the university archives when he discovered that the original
contract “gift agreement” between Pulitzer and Columbia included this key phrase:
“the building shall bear the name of the donor.”
Whoops. Better late than never, we guess. This press release from the J-school states that the building’s new facade will be unveiled on April 20th, during the school’s centennial celebrations.