In Memorian: John W. Gallivan (1915-2012)

Author: John Cameron

Past and present students of journalism at Notre Dame lost one of their greatest supporters Tuesday, when John W.Gallivan, namesake of the Gallivan Program for Journalism, Ethics and Democracy (JED), passed away at the age of 97.

Gallivan, a 1937 graduate of the University, was the former chairman of the Kearns Tribune Corp., publisher of the Salt Lake City Tribune, according to a University press release issued at the Gallivan Program’s founding in 1999.

Journalism professor Robert Schmuhl said Gallivan dedicated his life to improving the journalistic craft and helping others.

“In everything John W. Gallivan did, he brought moral clarity and civic responsibility. Few people in American journalism can rival his leadership ability and his commitment to professional excellence,” Schmuhl said. “Even after he retired from the news business, he never stopped his conscientious involvement in his community and his devotion to helping other people.”

JED Professor Jack Colwell said Gallivan stood out amongst his publisher peers for his strong character and altruism.

“Jack Gallivan was one of the old-style publishers, not a newspaper chain bottom-line executive. He cared about his community beyond just selling newspapers,” Colwell said. “He sought to promote civic causes and economic development in Salt Lake City and to keep the subscribers informed with accurate and ethical news gathering.”

Senior Emily Schrank, a JED minor, said the program has afforded her exceptional opportunities to explore her interest in journalism, both in and outside of the classroom.

“The Gallivan Program has opened up a whole host of opportunities that I might not have had in studying journalism at another school,” she said. “My internship with the South Bend Tribune [through the Gallivan Program] gave me invaluable real-world experience and showed me how important this industry is to our country and our world.”

Schrank said the program has attracted top-notch teaching talent and offered some of the most engaging courses she’s taken at Notre Dame.

“The journalism classes that I’ve taken have been some of my favorites during my time at Notre Dame and the professors that taught them are people who know the business inside and out,” she said.

Colwell said the Gallivan Program, established by Gallivan’s children, is a fitting tribute to the revered publisher.

“Generous support from his family led to the creation of the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy here at Notre Dame,” he said. “It was a way for his family to honor Jack and honor his commitment to the best in journalism as well.”

Schmuhl said the program will continue to promote the tenants Gallivan cared about most.

“His life is a tribute to journalism, ethics and democracy,” he said. “He really sets an example for Notre Dame students in the program that bears his name.”