Our story begins in 1873 when brothers Addison and Randolph Clark opened the first coed school in Texas where students would be "taught how to study, and given a purpose in life and a foundation on which to build character." That emphasis continues today at TCU and in the Schieffer School of Journalism.
The journalism program got its foot in the fledgling college with the publication of the Horned Frog yearbook in 1898. The appearance of the Skiff newspaper in 1902 cemented interest in such endeavors.
When J. Willard Ridings was hired in 1927 to establish a journalism department, the direction was set — TCU would produce a new crop of journalists, ones grounded in learning and practice, not ground out by gritty newsmen.
Through it all, the school adapted and grew. When a print shop was needed in the mid-1950s, it found a way to get one. When computers came calling, it upgraded. Always skimming the edge, the department churned out award-winning students and set new precedents — in 1967 it was the first accredited program at a private college in Texas; among the first, in 1985, to initiate ground-breaking discussions between crime victims and the media; and far ahead of the pack in combining the ad/PR tracks in 1979.
Today, 17 full-time faculty boast more than 250 collective years of experience in the field, as well as publications in every major scholarly journal. Add in 15 part-time faculty, and you get a world of experience.
The philosophy Ridings established in 1927 continues today: If a TCU graduate applies for a job in the media or in ad/PR, he or she will be hired on the spot.