UMD Memorializes Capital Gazette Shooting Victims
The University of Maryland is honoring the five victims of June’s mass shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md.
The Philip Merrill College of Journalism renamed the executive seminar room in Knight Hall for alumni John McNamara ’83 and Gerald Fischman ’79, adjunct professor Rob Hiaasen and their colleagues, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. A dedication ceremony, co-hosted with The Diamondback student newspaper, was held in December—the same day that Time magazine named the Capital Gazette newsroom staff among its 2018 Persons of the Year: “The Guardians and the War on Truth.”
Merrill College will also create writing competitions in memory of Fischman and McNamara, as well as a teaching award in memory of Hiaasen.
“These people served their community by practicing and supporting journalism,” says Lucy A. Dalglish, dean of Merrill College. “We hope these remembrances will be a consistent reminder of their example, and that their memory inspires others to seek truth and do good.”
Maryland Athletics paid tribute to McNamara, a sports reporter who covered Terps football and basketball for two decades, with a moment of silence in the press box before the first home football game of the season. Press box seats in both Maryland Stadium and Xfinity Center have been permanently dedicated to him.
“From his time as a young reporter for The Diamondback, John dedicated much of his life to reporting news and sharing stories of our student-athletes, coaches and programs at Maryland,” Athletic Director Damon Evans says. “The seats dedicated in his honor will serve as a constant reminder to the dedication and passion he had for Maryland and sports journalism.”
He and four others were gunned down on June 28, allegedly by a man with a long-standing grudge against The Capital, including a reporter and publisher who no longer worked there. It was possibly the deadliest single day for journalists in American history.
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