Marie Colvin (Credit: Ivor Prickett/The Sunday Times)
STONY BROOK, NY, June 17, 2013 – Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, has donated a $50,000 gift to Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism to further the development of the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting through the News Corporation Foundation. Mr. Murdoch’s donation will help to expand the Marie Colvin Center’s overseas reporting program, Journalism Without Walls, which has already sent student journalists to Russia, Cuba, China and Kenya.
"Marie was an outstanding foreign correspondent who risked her life to tell Sunday Times readers what was really going on in war zones across the globe,” said Mr. Murdoch. “She stood in the finest tradition of war reporters and News Corp.’s donation will help train the next generation so they too can bear witness.”
Marie Colvin worked as a foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, the weekly paper now owned by News Corp. During the nearly two decades she worked at The Times, she traversed dozens of conflict zones across the globe, from Chechnya to Sri Lanka to the Middle East. Ms. Colvin was tragically killed by rocket fire while on assignment in Syria in February of last year.
“Mr. Murdoch’s magnanimity is an investment in the future of journalism and the next generation of both, foreign and domestic journalism students educated at Stony Brook University,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University.
Mr. Murdoch is the latest donor to lend his support to the development of a center for international reporting at Stony Brook University. Earlier this year, CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour donated $50,000 to the quickly-growing program, on top of two generous donations by the Colvin family and many smaller donations by working journalists across the industry.
“This is particularly meaningful coming from Marie's long-term employer,” said Howard Schneider, Dean of the School of Journalism. “We greatly appreciate the support and the vote of confidence in our mission.”
The aim of the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting is to nurture and grow the next generation of foreign correspondents, while raising awareness for the need for international news coverage with the Marie Colvin Distinguished Lectureship Series. Christiane Amanpour gave the inaugural talk at Stony Brook University this past February.
“Training young reporters takes experience, dedication and support,” said Professor Ilana Ozernoy, Colvin Program Coordinator. “Our faculty has decades of field experience and we are committed to preparing students for the challenges of overseas work so they can hit the ground running upon graduation.” Stony Brook University is home to the only journalism school in New York State’s higher public education system.
Mr. Murdoch said he was a great admirer of Marie's courage and endeavor. He said he had met her on several occasions and found her insight and war stories fascinating, particularly her encounters with Middle East leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat. His donation brings new momentum to the Center’s ambitious campaign to raise several million dollars in order to establish an endowment in Marie Colvin’s name at Stony Brook University. Ms. Colvin grew up on Long Island.
"The Colvin family is extremely appreciative of Mr. Murdoch's generous contribution to the Marie Colvin Center,” said Cathleen Colvin, Marie’s sister. “It means a lot to my family that he would continue to remember her in such a meaningful way after her death. Mr. Murdoch's contribution is a significant step toward establishing a lasting legacy to Marie's memory."