SPLC announces successful completion of endowment campaign

Three-year effort results in $3.75 million to support Tomorrow's Voices

Arlington, Va. — The Student Press Law Center today announced the successful completion of its three-year campaign to help ensure the future of student press freedom. Thanks to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and student free press supporters across the country, the SPLC has established an endowment fund to help protect student First Amendment rights long into the future. When all pledges are received, the endowment fund will total over $3.75 million.

“We so appreciate everyone who made our campaign a success and conveyed their support for the high school and college journalists we serve,” said Mark Goodman, Executive Director of the SPLC. “And special thanks go to the Knight Foundation, which demonstrated such confidence in the SPLC and our mission of making press freedom a reality for young Americans.”

“For the first time, we can be certain that the Student Press Law Center is here to stay,” said Eric Newton, Vice President, Journalism Programs for the Knight Foundation. “From now on, someone will always be there to stand up for the rights of student journalists, to push for student media in all its wondrous forms, to show tomorrow’s citizens that we people really do believe in a free and open society.”

Recognizing the importance of student free speech and the role of press freedom in our nation, in 2003 the Knight Foundation issued the SPLC a challenge grant to create the Tomorrow’s Voices endowment fund. As of December 31, 2006, the SPLC met this challenge by raising $2.5 million in gifts and pledges, which the Knight Foundation will match with $1.25 million.

Students, teachers, foundations, news media organizations and many others committed to the future of the First Amendment stepped to up to support the SPLC in this campaign.

“We are a small organization with big aspirations. We began several years ago by developing an ambitious strategic plan, and today we are delighted with this crowning achievement: establishing an endowment fund to provide for the future of the Student Press Law Center. We are immensely grateful to all the supporters of the student press for their generous contributions and for believing in the importance of our work,” said Rosalind Stark, chair, SPLC board of directors.

Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been the nation’s only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the student news media in their struggle to cover important issues free from censorship. The Center provides free legal advice and information as well as low-cost educational materials for student journalists on a wide variety of legal topics. The SPLC is a nonprofit, non-partisan 501©(3) corporation. For more, visit www.splc.org.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. For more, visit www.knightfdn.org.

Abbie Gibbs, Development Director
Student Press Law Center
(703) 807-1904