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The Reichert Report - October

Posted October 8, 2019

Dear alumni and friends,

I want to tell you about something that happened recently that warms my heart and will hopefully warm yours, too.

In May, a journalism professor approached me with a problem. A senior student had been offered the opportunity of a lifetime  a prized summer internship with McClatchy’s investigative team in Washington, D.C. The catch was the internship was unpaid (that’s another story), and the student was going to turn it down because his family couldn’t subsidize several months in D.C.

We were able to get creative and patch together some funds in the form of a scholarship to support this critical and timely need thanks to our generous contributions from alumni and friends to the Dean’s Excellence fund.

So, I’m sitting in my office last month, and in pops the student (now a recent alum). He shakes my hand and thanks me for helping him to participate in the internship. I told him to thank his journalism professor, and that I would thank the donors who made this opportunity possible. He went on to tell me he … 

  • Worked with a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter.
  • Crunched a whole lot of data for an important series of hard-hitting stories.
  • Earned bylines.
  • Attended a White House press briefing addressing allegations against Paul Manafort and Robert Cohen.

I also saw growth in this young man — he was more confident and self-assured than he was in May. In other words, this student had a transformative learning experience.

He was back in South Carolina for a few days to pack his bags, kiss his folks goodbye and head to Montana as a beat reporter for the capital daily — an opportunity he likely wouldn’t have had without the internship. 

This story reminds me that your generosity has the power to take us from great to fantastic! It allows us to make a positive impact on the lives of our students and others in the community. Ongoing contributions to Cocky’s Reading Express keep the bus fueled and books delivered to children throughout the state.  And, thanks to the Buchheit Family Endowment, the SJMC hosted official White House photographer Pete Souza for a special lecture. Nearly 1,000 people attended — filling the 500-seat performance hall and 11 overflow rooms! Lives were affected that night! Attendees are still riding high.

In closing, thank you for your generous support of the CIC. I look forward to seeing you at Gamecocks on the Green, our annual Homecoming event on Oct. 26. Please register here. I’ll see you there. 

Go Gamecocks!

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Tom Reichert