Monday, November 19, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of Uk #118

Marguerite McLaughlin was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on September 30, 1882. She was a Journalist educator at the University of Kentucky, where she earned her AB in 1903. McLaughlin died November 25, 1961.
McLaughlin when she earned her BA from State College (UK) in 1903
 McLaughlin was one of the first, if not the first woman, to handle general reporting assignments for a newspaper in the South. She worked for the Lexington Herald as a drama and music critic, she handled murder cases, and served as farm editor from 1917 to 1918. Marguerite McLaughlin was a 40-year veteran reporter and a charter member of Theta Sigma Phi.

McLaughlin was the first woman teacher of journalism in the United States and she trained many well-known journalists including the late Joe Creason, George Michler, Thornton Connell of the Courier-Journal, Dr. Niel Plummer, former head of the UK School of Journalism; Don Whitehead, Pulitzer prize-winning AP press reporter; Governor Keen Johnson; Senators Earle Clements and Tom Underwood.

McLaughlin holding tickets for UK's loss to Indiana in New Orleans' Sugar Bowl. Image credited to the Times Picayune, 1940 December 30

McLaughlin served as executive secretary of the UK Alumni Association during each World War; served 20 years (1920-1940) as President of the Lexington Alumni Club, and 30 years (1920-1950) as a member of the Association's executive committee.

In the Classroom
 During World War II, McLaughlin endeared herself to military alumni by having the Kernel sent to them wherever they were stationed. During the early 1950s, she was honored with the "Pro Ecclesiae et Pontificae" award by Pope Pius XII, the highest award which can be given to a Catholic laywoman.

In 1950, McLaughlin received the Alumni Association's Alma Magna Mater Award; in 1959 the Marguerite McLaughlin room in the Journalism Building was dedicated along with her portrait which hangs there today. She retired from UK after 38 years of teaching and then served as President of Welsh Printing Company for a number of years. Marguerite McLaughlin was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 11, 1980.

UK Libraries Special Collections houses the Marguerite McLaughlin papers and photographs

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