The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest journalism organization, with 14,000 members dedicated to the free practice of journalism, high ethical standards and a free press. SPJ was founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi.
The Central Ohio Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was founded in 1949 in Columbus, Ohio. It was the first professional chapter established in Ohio.
There were 19 founding members, including six journalists from The Columbus Dispatch, two from the Ohio State Journal and one from the Columbus Citizen. Others in the original group included two recent Ohio State University graduates who had been members of the campus chapter and were just settling into professional jobs.
Charter members were Ernest Cady, Laurence R. Conner, Harold Dakin, Norman H. Dohn, W. Dayle Fraizer, Wayne V. Harsha, Richard L. Kennard, M.B. McCormick, Jacob A. Meckstroth, Karl B. Pauly, Garland C. Raines, Harold K. Schellenger, Frank A. Scheurger, Harry Shook, George A. Smallsreed Sr., M. Douglas Talbot, Don E. Weaver, Claud A. Weimer and Preston Wolfe.
Cady was elected president for the chapter’s “probationary” year. Harsha was elected secretary, and Dohn was treasurer. The chapter was formally chartered on April 25, 1950.
The Central Ohio Pro Chapter is registered as a 501(c)(6) non-profit through its affiliation with the national organization. Money or items donated to the chapter may not be tax deductible. Consult a tax adviser for more information.
Past Chapter Presidents
Ernest Cady, 1949-50; Jacob A. Meckstroth, 1950-51 and 1951-52; Harold K. Schellenger, 1952-53; George A. Smallsreed, Sr., 1953-54 and 1954-55; Brady Black, 1955-56; William J. Oertel, 1956-57; Dr. Norman H. Dohn, 1957-58; Burdette (Bud) Johns, 1958-59; Walter W. Furniss, 1959-60.
Edwin L. McCoy, 1960-61; Haskell P. Short, 1961-62; Melvin C. Koch, 1962-63; Monroe Courtright, 1963-64; Clarence J. Brown, 1964-65; H.W. (Sam) Perdue, 1965-66; Winfred (Bill) Arthurs, 1966-67; Arthur W. Myers, 1967-68; Carl Ebright, 1968-69; James R. Hunkler, 1969-70.
Paul J. Sherlock, 1970-71; Louis V. Fabro, 1971-72; Willard (Bill) Potter, Jr., 1972-73; George R. Roberts, 1973-74; William S. Patterson, 1974-75; John M. Mountain, 1975-76; Anthony Mangine, Jr., 1976-77; Thomas E. LaRochelle, 1977-78; David Lore, 1978-79; Noreen Johnson, 1979-80.
Michael E. Collins, 1980-81; Diane Duston, 1981 (4 months); Michael E. Collins, 1981-82; Ted Virostko, 1982-83; Barbara A. Kaufmann, 1983-84; Bob Drumheller, 1984-85; Robert C. Tenenbaum, 1985-86; Adrienne Bosworth Chafetz, 1986-87; Thomas A. Schwartz, 1987-88; James Breiner, 1988-89; Kathy Gray, 1989-90.
Marilyn Greenwald, 1990-91; Pat Schmucki, 1991-92; Beth Gianforcaro, 1992-93; Mary Beth Lane, 1993-94; Bruce Cadwallader, 1994-95; Sarah Mills Bacha, 1995-96; Katie Foley, 1996-97; Phil Rudell, 1997-98; Joe McKnight, 1998-99; Julie Truck, 1999 (6 months); Gary Kiefer, 1999-2000.
Gary Kiefer, 2000-01; Rose Hume, 2001-02; Chuck Nelson, 2002-03; Paul Kostyu, 2003-04; Robin Hepler, 2004-05; Joe Meyer, 2005-06; Brian Ball, 2006-07; F. Michael Lorz, 2007-08; Jennifer Monnin, 2008-09; Kevin Kemper, 2009-2010; Katy Waters, 2010-2011; Julanne Hohbach, 2011-2012; Eric Lyttle, 2012-2013; Beth Gianforcaro 2013-2014.