Historical Timeline


The graphic arts program (originally housed in the old technical institute) is established.


English professors Dana Preu, Annette Thorpe, Bernice Reeves, and Thelma Gorham develops FAMU's first journalism degree curriculum. A few journalism courses taught by Gorham and Bob Sanchez were offered in the Department of English prior to this time.The Area (later Department) of Journalism at FAMU is formed. Robert M. Ruggles named head.


WANF-FM (now WANM-FM) goes on the air for the first time.


First graduating class (B.S. in journalism)


School of Journalism, Media and Graphic Arts (SJMGA) is formed by President Walter Smith. Robert Ruggles named dean.  The Department of Journalism becomes the first degree program of its kind at an historically black university to receive national accreditation. Departments become divisions.


The Tallahassee Democrat - SJGMA professional development program for students is initiated. The program continues today as MMC 2930 Senior Seminar course.


First Board of Visitors (BOV) meeting held.


The SJMGA receives the second $1 million endowed chair at FAMU. The Garth C. Reeves Sr. chair is named for a graphic arts alumnus.


First Master of Science in Journalism is conferred.


The Knight Scholarship House opens for financially needy, high-achieving journalism and graphic arts students on the FAMU campus.


The FAMUAN is the only student newspaper at an HBCU to place in the top 10 of 103 accredited journalism programs in the Heart Foundation's college awards competition.

The John S. and James L. Knight Fondation establishes a $500,000 faculty development endowment at the SJMGA.


FAMU Board of Trustees reanmes SJMGA as the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC). The Division of  Graphic Arts becomes the  Division of Graphic Communication.

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new $25 million state-of-the-art facility that unites students and faculty of both divisions into one building. The School was previously housed in Tucker Hall (journalism) and the Tech Building B (graphic communication).

Division of Graphic Communication becomes one of four programs of its kind to be accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications (ACCGC). SJGC offers the only baccalaurate degree in graphic communication in Florida.


Founding Dean Robert Ruggles retires. Division of Journalism Director James Hawkins serves as interim dean and is later named dean in 2004.


The schools first live student newscast, FAMU News 20 at Five, is aired on FAMU-TV20.


Dean Hawkins retires as Dean. Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough named dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.


Dr. Dhyana Ziegler named Interim Dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.


Dr. Michelle Ferrier named Dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.


Dr. Bettye Grable named Acting Dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.


Ms. Mira Lowe named Dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.