1999 KF Annual Report

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1999 KF Annual Report

  1. 1. ANNUAL REPORT 1999 TH FI FI YE E RST FTY ARS JOHN S. JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION AND
  2. 2. T TABLE CONTENTS he John S. and James L. Kn i ght Fo u n d a ti onwas estab- OF l i s h ed in 1950 as a priva te fo u n d a ti on independen t of the Knight bro t h ers’ news p a per en terprises. It is C h a i r m a n’s Letter 2 ded i c a ted to furthering their ideals of s ervi ce to com mu n i ty, to the highest standards of journalistic excell en ce and to the Pr e s i d e n t’s Message 4 defense of a free press. In both their publishing and philanthropic undertakings, History 5 the Kn i ght bro t h ers shared a broad vision and uncom m on devo ti on to the com m on wel f a re . It is those ide a l s , as well as Philanthropy Takes Root 6 The First Fifty Years their ph i l a n t h ropic intere s t s , to wh i ch the Fo u n d a ti onremains 8 History at a Glance faithful. 11 To heigh ten the impact of their grant making, Knight Fo u n d a ti on’s tru s tees have el ected to focus on four programs, Programs and Initiatives 23 e ach with its own el i gi bi l i ty requ i rem en t s : Com mu n i ty Community Initiatives In i ti a tive s , Journalism, Educati on and Arts and Cu l tu re . 24 Community Indicators Project In a ra p i dly ch a n ging world, the Fo u n d a ti on also remains 32 Journalism flexible en o u gh to re s pond to unique ch a ll en ges, i deas and 34 Education proj ects that lie beyond its identified program are a s , yet wo u l d 42 Knight Foundation Commission f u l f i ll the broad vi s i on of its fo u n ders. on Intercollegiate Athletics None of the grant making would be po s s i ble wi t h o ut a 50 Arts and Culture sound financial base. Thus, preserving and enhancing the 52 Foundati on’s assets thro u gh pru dent investm ent managem en t con ti nues to be of paramount import a n ce . Trustees and Officers 60 Staff 62 Advisers 64 Index of Grants 65 Treasurer’s Report 82 Auditors’ Report 83 Financial Information 84 Production Credits 88 Guidelines and Application Inside Back Cover
  3. 3. D ays before the first half of the 20th cen tu ry ends, two bro t h ers dedicated to news p a per publishing and their associates sit down in Akron, Ohio, for the first meeting of a newly minted enterprise called Knight Foundation. They start with a mere $9,047 and an in- terest in helping to strengthen their ch o s enfield of journal- ism as well as the commu n i ties wh ere they live and work . Fifty years later, a new century and new millennium provide sobering challenges and dramatic opp ortunity for the trustees, staff and advisers of a vastly expanded institution, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The lessons of the past and the prospects for the future unfold in this 50th anniversary annual report. While much has been accomplished, more – much more – remains possible. 1 1 9 9 9 AN N UA L R E P O RT
  4. 4. 1999 CHAIRMAN’S LET TER ‘THE PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO T H E T RU T H.’ – JOHN S. KNIGHT T The exp an ded history secti on and its he statements by the Knight brothers above reflect the distinct personalities accom p a nying timeline in this report detail an organization built with care . At thei r of two very different men who found- core , the Knights were men who believed in ed this organization, now a half century in the making. I was privileged to know both of them, providing opportunity through charitable giving. Well before there was a Fo u n d a tion, professionally and personal ly. I grew up in they honored their father, Ak ron publisher Akron, where the Knight name is as familiar as Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone. and civic leader C.L. Kn i gh t , t h ro u gh a memorial education fund. The loans and Jack Knight was a consummate newsman, scholarships from that source helped score s as straightforward in his Editor’s Notebook columns as he was in his personal dealings with of young Ohioans in the 1940s. It is interest- W. Gerald Austen, M.D. ing to learn how, well before the existen ce of colleagues. In the 1960s, Jack Knight told a the Foundati on , the Knight family ’s bel i ef in education reader: “Although you have found me stubborn, exasperating, frequently wrong, unpredictably right, liberal, conservative, p l ayed a role in shaping the splendid lives of Frank Si m onetti and Lu c i m a rian Roberts (see page 6). drastic and moderate, at least you have been reading me. And Al ong with the program narra tives revi ewing the activities that is all I can expect.” Jim Knight was a superb businessman, a down-to-earth of 1999, this report looks at the evolution of several sig- nature efforts that help define Knight Foundation’s work in its family man. Despite their different temperaments and per- first 50 years. An impressive roster of nationally respected sonalities, the brothers shaped a newspaper company, with the help of many, founded on the tenets of journalistic excellence individuals offer their thoughts on the differences these efforts have made in people’s lives, and we thank them for their per- and sound financial performance. “Jack was of a different gen- spective. eration,” Jim said. “If I had any troubles, I would give him a The Foundation’s early life, with its activities reflecting honk. Sometimes he’d call me and say ‘What do you think?’ As the interests of busy men preoccupied with the task of operat- a com bi n a ti on , I think we were most unusual, and this has ing newspapers of excellence, stands in great contrast to the been partly responsible for our success.” organization that exists today. But the clear outlines of their The legacy of that success is this independent Foundation, interests – stronger communities, quality journalism and the launched in Akron in December 1950. A half century pales in protection of a free press – were established in those early comparison to the millennium of human achievement now years, leaving a very clear path for the Foundation’s trustees to drawing to a close, and yet 50 years does provide an opportu- follow. nity to review and assess the past. The deaths of the Kn i ght bro t h ers – Jack in ’81, Jim in ’91 This annual report reminds us that the Kn i ght bro t h ers wi s h ed to give back to the field of journalism in which they – led to an infusion of assets that dramatically changed the t h rived , and to the communities where they lived and worked . While nu m erous improvem ents in our fields of i n terest and in our communities have occ u rred since 1950, we are reminded The Year in Review Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 19 9 9 daily that many ills continue to plague our soc i ety. We have s een many dedicated indivi duals and orga n i z a ti ons thrive with Assets: $1.889 million help from Knight Fo u n d a ti on funding, and we have learn ed Grants paid out: $53.1 million i m portant lessons along the way as their partn ers . One of the Proposals received: 1,295 key lessons we’ve learn ed in our first 50 years is this: Kn i ght New grants approved: $69.5 million (311 grants) Fo u n d a ti on most important work lies ahead . ’s Average grant size: $233,606 2 JOHN S. JAMES L. K NIGHT FOUNDATION AND
  5. 5. 1999 CHAIRMAN’S L ETTER ‘SE RV I C E TO YO U R C O M M U N I T Y I S I N S E PA RA B L E F RO M YO U R R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y A S A N EWS PA PE R M A N.’ – JAMES L. KNIGHT co u rse of the Foundation. With the guidance We intend to keep our ob s erva ti on of this and vi s i on of Lee Hills, my predece s s or as ch a i r- go l den annivers a ry simple. Jack and Jim Knight man, Kn i ght Fo u n d a ti on en tered the 1990s, and would have insisted on that. now a new cen tu ry, poi s ed to make an incre a s- Those of us who knew them, however, can’t ingly significant con tri buti on . The $69 mill i on help but wonder what they’d think, here in in new grants approved in 1999 alone is a star- 2000, about the philanthropic entity they cre- tling figure for us, held up against the fact that ated. A year after Jack’s death in 1981, the it took 40 years before the Fo u n d a ti on had dis- Foundation’s assets were still a modest $24 mil- tri buted its first $100 mill i on. lion. I suspect he’d grouse a bit now about all Our 1999 activities of fer a sense of the the meetings and all the paperwork involved in growth and exc i tem ent ahead. We intro- making good use of those $69 million in grants Lee Hills du ced our first grants from the interd i s c i p l i- we approved. I believe he’d be proud of our nary IDEAS Fu n d , c re a ted to give opportunity to projects efforts to support the writing program at Cornell, his alma that merge the interests of our four programs. The new mater, and in the success achieved by our midcareer journal- fund hel ped us commit $3 million to Macon , Ga.’s com- ism fellowship programs, our Knight Chairs in Journalism preh en s ive plan to revitalize its historic down town. The program, and by the journalists working overseas in the Knight IDEAS Fund will en courage us to think of ways to blend In tern a ti onal Press Fellowship progra m . our program interests and en courage inno- Jim Knight would probably of fer his typical vation by leveraging more funds. “aw, s hu cks.” Jim gave generously in his life- Our commitment to knowing more about time, to the Foundation and to his communi- the 26 communities where the Knight brothers ti e s . Af ter he and Ma ry Ann Kn i ght con- were involved in newspapers took a big step in tributed $5 million to Mount Sinai Medical 1999 with the Community Indicators Project Center in Miami Beach, Jim spoke from the (page 32). Through surveys with residents, and heart: “This town has been awfully kind to me, by co mpiling up-to-date information about and shrouds don’t have pockets. I’d rather see our communities’ needs and opportunities, we the money go to good uses than to taxes.” now have a va lu a ble re s o u rce to help the Ending the first 50 years of grant making Foundation make more effective grants. with nearly $2 billion in assets means that the We enter 2000 without our wonderful col- real work lies ahead and that the journey is just John W. Rogers Jr. league, Lee Hills, whose unique relationship beginning. Even as we pause momentarily to with the Knight brothers made him, in many ways, the archi- reflect on a half century of good works by good people, our tect of this organization. Lee was a great newsman, a superb board and staff are in the early stages of a strategic review for businessman and a dear friend to us all. Through 40 years as a the next five years and beyond. We hope the successes, the les- trustee, he offered all of us a keen sense of the vision the sons learned and signature efforts of the first 50 years position Knights had for the future of the Foundation. I routinely us to accomplish even more in the future. sought his advice and benefited greatly from his wisdom. I can’t remember a time when he was wrong in his judgment. I speak for us all when I say Lee will truly be missed. We eagerly anticipate the additi on of Ch i c a goan John W. Rogers Jr. to our board of tru s tees, and we ex press out gratitu de W. Gerald Austen, M.D. to Tom Jo h n s on of CNN for eight years of dedicated service. Chairman 3 1 9 9 9 AN N UA L R E P O RT
  6. 6. P 'S MESSAGE RESIDENT M easured against the full sweep of wh en North Korea invaded the So uth in June human history, 50 years are little and decl a red a state of n a ti onal emer gency in more than a nanosecond. Measured December after the Chinese army charged ac ross against the two centuries-plus of our national the DMZ. This was just five years after the end history, it is a significant slice of time. But how- of World War II and 13 years before Vietnam was ever else you view it, the half century in which to become embl a zon ed on the nati onal psych e . the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Finally, while tel evi s i on had alre ady become came into existence and grew to its pre s ent size an unavoidable presence on the two coasts, the has been a time of wrenching, accelerating first transcontinental television broadcast was change. Th ere is no reason to believe the next 50 s ti ll a year off. The ch i ef threat to the dominance ye a rs wi ll be any less dynamic and unset t l ed. of newspapers as the pre-eminent means of com- Hodding Carter III As this annual report makes clear, Knight m n i c a ti on was rad i o, and a paltry one at that. u Foundation has moved through a number of phases since it Why this recitation of scattered factoids? Because they was founded in 1950. There have been midcourse corrections, help frame the nature of the profound transformation of the major additions to programs and occasional sharp turns in national and international environment over the last half of the road . The underlying commitment to its two core missions the 20th century. has become ever ste ad i er, however. Knight Fo u n d a ti on bel i eves No less certainly, t h ey stron gly su ggest that seismic changes it should give back to the com mu n i ties where the Kn i ght are going to be the norm for dec ades to come. Whether we are brothers made most of t h eir wealth and that it should pre s erve, talking abo ut the way Americans treat each other in this time pro tect and invigorate freedom of press at home and abroad . of accel era ting divers i ty, how our econ omy all oc a tes wi n n ers That said, however, no institution that merely sat on its and losers or how we com mu n i c a te and do business with each inertial inclinations could have remained relevant to the needs other – all is in flux. of a nation which has gone through the demographic, eco- It is against this largely undigested past and dimly per- nomic, social and political transformat ions of the United ceived future that the nation’s institutions, no less than its States between 1950 and 2000. Consider just a few: people, will be making their way in the coming years. For phi- In 1950, the U.S. pop u l a ti on of 151 mill i on was just 55 lanthropies, and indeed for all of us, the future simultaneous- percent as large as today’s 275 mill i on. The face of that pop u- ly demands unapologetic grounding in basic principles and an l a ti on was far different from tod ay’s. Whites and African- ungrudging willingness to try radically different approaches Americans, the latter then some 10 percent of the total, toget h- to dealing with radically shifting realities. er accounted for all but a fracti on of Americans. Tod ay, n on - Knight Fo u n d a ti on is fortu n a te in that its fo u n ders Hispanic wh i tes com prise little more than 70 percent of the repeatedly spoke of its role as venture capitalist, journeying population, Hispanics 12 percent, African-Americans about 13 i n to the untried and unproven in search of workable percent and Asians/Pacific Is l a n ders around 4 percent. approaches to new oppo rtunities and problems. Remaining As the complexion of the nation has changed, so have true to the larger v ision enunciated by both Jack and Jim many of its customs and mores and the definition of what the Knight is our best guide to the 21st century. As in our first 50 society finds acceptable. In 1950, racial segregation was still years, there will be no dearth of opportunities to venture, to legally sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court as the law of the innovate and to risk in the years ahead. As in those first 50 land in any state that wished to embrace it. All Southern states years, the one certainty is that there are few to no certainties did, and segregation in fact if not in law prevailed virtually about the nature of the future. There can be no more exciting everywhere else. Poverty stood at around 25 percent, com- prospect and challenge. pared to today’s 13 percent. Women’s place remained in the home and kitchen, except for those whose e conomic needs absolutely required that they work and a relative handful of more affluent trailblazers. Hodding Carter III President Truman opened 1950 by authorizing develop- Pre s i dent and CEO ment of the hydrogen bomb, responded with military force 4 JOHN S. JAMES L. K NIGHT FOUNDATION AND
  7. 7. HISTORY 5 1 9 9 9 AN N UA L R E P O RT
  8. 8. P TA K E S RO HILANTHROPY OT L “When I think back, the ike many philanthropists, the Knight brothers learned John S. Knight scholarship the importance of giving back to com munity from started the way,” she said. family. Charles Landon Knight, publisher of the Akron Dr. Simon et ti , p a rt of the Beacon Journal from 1907 to 1933, made it a practice to help first group of stu dents to worthy students pay for c ollege. Following C.L. Knight’s receive Kn i ght Mem orial fund- death, eldest son Jack Knight carried on the tradition. From i n g, shares that vi ew. “Th a t’s 1940 until 1950, when its remaining assets helped establish the only way I could have gone Knight Foundation, the Knight Memorial Education Fund to graduate sch oo l . I graduated provided college scholarships and loans to promising young in 1933 from North Hi gh wh en students from the Akron region. the terri ble Depre s s i on was Many of those young fund recipients became great con- Lucimarian Tolliver, 1946 Howard graduate on,” he said.“I didn’t go to col- tributors to their ow n communities. That’s certainly true, lege right aw ay because I had no money.” some 60 years later, of Dr. Frank Simonetti of Akron and In 1936, he entered Akron University to study business Lucimarian Roberts of Biloxi, Miss. administration and play football. He excelled in both, most Both grew up in lower- to middle-class neighborhoods in notably in his studies. “They weren’t all A’s, but I believe I had prewar, industrial Akron. Simonetti’s parents, first-generation the second-highest average of all the students when I graduat- Italian immigrants, settled in Dean Heights where they ran a ed magna cum laude in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in busi- little neighborhood grocery. Their son went to Akron North ness administration.” High School and played football. Graduate school seemed unlikely. “I was interested in the As part of the great So ut h ern migra ti on , Lucimarian business program at Boston University, but with no money, I To ll iver’s grandparents had moved to Ak ron from Alabama. couldn’t do it on my own.” He heard about the Knight fund Her family’s nei gh bors were Russian and Czech o s l ovakian and was introduced to John Berry, then the Beacon Journal’s i m m i grants, d rawn to work in Akron ru bber plants. She went vice president. “This was April 1940,” said Simonetti. “Mr. to East Hi gh . “Our sch ools were integrated, and yet we still Berry said: ‘If we establish the fund, you’ll get some. If we were so sep a ra te,” she said. “I was one of the very few bl ack don’t, you’ll get yours anyhow.’ s tu dents in my time enco u ra ged to take co ll ege preparatory “Well, they set it up. Meantime, I was accepted for the co u rses. graduate fellowship program at Boston University. I requested and received from the Knight group $600. You didn’t need much money then.” Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts had a similar experience. After high school graduation in 1942, she received $300 from the Knight fund to attend Howard University. Getting there was the beginning of a lifetime of adven tu re for an ad m i t- tedly naïve young woman. “When that train pull ed into Akron, my parents didn’t know you needed a reservation,” she said. She boarded the train and sat beside Mamie Hansberry, who was also heading to Howard with her father, Carl Hansberry. In sitting next to Mamie, she took Mr. Hansberry’s seat. When the porter asked for her ticket, Lucimarian was told she’d have to go to the smoker car. The elder Hansberry gra- ciously gave up his seat and went to the smoker car, leaving the future roommates together for the long ride. Lucimarian Roberts attended Howard from 1942 to 1946. Lawrence and Lucimarian Roberts, with daughter Robin 6 JOHN S. JA M E S L . K N I G H T F O U N D AT I O N AND
  9. 9. PHIL TAKES RO ANTHROPY OT “I graduated in June 1946 with final stages of the war to work at the children’s home “for the a degree in psychology. I used mighty salary of $25 a week.” Her husband got his second lieu- that $300 for that whole four tenant’s bars in 1944, and the couple married in 1947. years. That’s a long time ago. She and their four children accompanied Lawren ce When I remember how much Roberts as his Air Force career took him to more than two money it was, and how far dozen postings in the United States, as well as overseas. They that money took me, I have to encountered racial prejudice in Minnesota, where an assign- laugh.” ment was abruptly canceled when the black officer showed up. Si m on et ti finished his In the South of the ’50s and ’60s, they traveled by night to master’s in business adminis- avoid run-ins with white Southerners. Mrs. Roberts taught tration in one ye a r. He through o ut , i n cluding tutoring Af ri c a n - Am erican en l i s te d Frank Simonetti in 1940 as a graduate student returned to Akron to work for men and officers in Japan. A posting at Keesler Air Force Base Goodyear, but jumped at the chance in 1942 to teach at his in Biloxi in 1969 led them to call the Mississippi coast home. alma mater’s college of business. During a distinguished Their children include ABC and ESPN spor ts broadcaster career there, he left only to receive his docto rate at Indiana Robin Roberts; New Orleans TV anchor Sally-Ann Roberts; University in 1955. Dorothy Roberts McEwen, cofounder of the Genesis Foun- “At Indiana, they asked me where I was going when I got dation; and Houston-based educator Lawrence Roberts Jr. my degree, and I said back to Akron. They asked me why, and At age 76, M rs . Roberts is one of Ms s i s s i pp i ’s most i I said, ‘Well, to work with the kind of kids who need a good accom p l i s h ed civic leaders . She was on the Ms s i s s i ppi Boa rd i education.’ The kind of kid I was.” of Edu c a ti on from 1984 to 1993 and served as chair for two Simonetti became the first head of the university’s indus- years. She also ch a i red the boa rd of the New Orleans branch of trial management department. In the ensuing decades before the Federal Re s erve Bank of Atlanta. his retirement from teaching in 1990, he traveled extensively, “In my essay that I had to write for the Knight scholarship en co u n tering his students in managem ent po s i ti ons in Akron, I remember I said I wanted to come South to help my peop l e , n ever dreaming I was going to be here in around the world, all working for Goodrich or Firestone or Mississippi.” Goodyear in Europe, the Middle East and the Orient. “I came back to Akron purposely to serve those students, and I arranged for a lot of them to go to grad school,” he said. “They couldn’t have done it on their own any more than I could have done it on my own.” In 1987, the College of Business Administration created the Dr. Frank L. Simonetti Disting u i s h ed Bu s iness Alumni Aw a rd in his hon or. Am ong the rec i p i ents is Dr. Jack Si m on et ti , a 1965 Ak ron grad . He’s the eldest of Fra n k Simon et ti ’s two ch i l d ren. Of Akron, Frank Simonetti says: “I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I love this town; look at how good it’s been to me.” Like Simonetti, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts’ life was changed at college. She thrived socially at Howard and was elected president of a campus women’s group as a senior. She met visiting dignitaries, including Eleanor Roosevelt. And she m et her futu re husband, L awren ce Roberts. As Am erica entered World War II, he enlisted and became a Tuskegee Airman, one of the first group of African-American men trained as fighter pilots. She returned to Akron during the Dr. Frank Simonetti in Akron 7 1999 ANNUAL REPORT
  10. 10. T FIRST FIFT YEARS HE Y T he John S. and James L. Knight Foundation originat- 180,000 shares of Kn i ght News p a pers stock from the Kn i gh t s’ ed with the Knight family’s belief in the value of edu- mother, Cl a ra I. Knight, who died in Novem ber. Faced with the pro s pect of administering a much larger financial aid pro- cation. The brothers’ father, Charles Landon Knight, h ad a trad i ti on of helping financially strapped stu dents pay for gram, the board of trustees voted in 1966 to end assistance for t h eir co ll ege edu c a ti on . To hon or his memory, the Kn i gh t college students and to replace it with grants to colleges and universities. Over the next few years a limited number of cul- Memorial Edu c a ti on Fund was establ i s h ed in 1940 to provi de financial aid to co ll ege stu dents from the Ak ron area. tural and educational institutions in Akron, Miami, Charlotte Su pported with con tri buti ons from the Ak ron Be acon Journal, and Detroit – cities where the Kn i ghts own ed news p a pers – were ad ded to the Fo u n d a ti on list of grant recipients. ’s the fund existed until Decem ber 1950 wh en its assets of $9,047 were tra n s ferred to the newly cre a ted Knight Foundation. A tu rning point came in 1972 wh en the boa rd of tru s tees Incorporated in the state of Ohio, Knight Foundation authorized the sale of Clara Knight’s stock in a seco ndary offering by Knight Newspapers. The sale raised $21,343,500, was or ga n i zed principally to carry out the work of the Kn i gh t Memorial Education Fund. Almost from the beginning, how- increased the Foundation’s assets to more than $24 million ever, the Foundation made small grants to educational, cul- and initiated an expanded gr ant program focused on the growing number of cities where the Knights published news- tural and social service institutions – mostly in Akron – and on a very limited basis for journalism-related causes. papers. Journalism, especially the education of journalists, For the first 10 years the Foundation’s assets came from became a matter of more pronounced funding interest. Even with an expanded grant program that totaled more contributions from the Akron Beacon Journal and The Miami than $1 million a year, the Foundation did not occupy a sign i f i- Herald and personal g ifts by Jack and Jim Knight. Other cant p a rt of Jack or Jim Kn i gh t’s time or interest at this point. Knight newspapers began to contribute small amounts in the In 1974 several events occurred that laid the cornerstone early 1960s – a move that led to a limited number of grants to for a m uch larger Knight Foundation. Jack Knight’s wife, cities from which the contributions came. Beryl, died, and he underwent major surgery, thus creating Newspaper con tri buti ons stopped in 1965 with the concern among his associates about the future of Knight Foundation’s first major infusion of a s s ets – a bequest of 8 JOHN S. JA M E S L . K N I G H T F O U N D AT I O N AND
  11. 11. THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS Newspapers. Concurrent with these circumstances, Knight with almost 25 percent of grants supporting journalism-rel a ted Newspapers mer ged with Ri d der Pu bl i c a tions to cre a te causes. Knight-Ridder, at the time the largest newspaper company in Little more than a year after Maidenburg took the reins, the country. Jack Knight was its biggest shareholder. he fell ill. Jack Knight asked one of his friends, C.C. Gibson, Heading the newly formed company as chairman and an Ak ron civic activi s t , to fill in. By 1978 it was cl e a r CEO was the merger’s architect, Lee Hills, former president of Ma i denburg could not retu rn , so Gibson was named president. Knight News p a pers . A close fri end and assoc i a te of the One of Jack Knight’s directives during these final years of Knights for more than 35 years, Hills was the first person out- his life was that the Foundation’s trustees consider its f utu re. side the family to head Knight Newspapers. He had been a The outcome was an early and largely informal stra tegi c plan- Foundation trustee since 1960. ning exercise that re sulted in direct statem ents from Hills recognized that Jack K night’s status as Knight- Jack and Jim Knight about Foundation governance and grant Ridder’s largest shareholder placed the company in a precari- making. Their preferences reflected a desire for an optimum ous position. If the elder Knight died, leaving the bulk of his amount of flexibility “on the grounds,” Jack Knight wrote, estate to his heirs, they would be forced to sell most of their “that a tr uly effective foundation should have freedom to Knight-Ridder stock to pay the estate taxes. That would leave exercise its best judgment as required by the times and condi- Knight-Ridder vulnerable to management by outside interests tions under which they live.” and possibly a takeover by those who understood little or Jack Knight died on June 16, 1981. The task of s ettling his nothing about newspapers and less about journalism. estate requ i red five years. Wh en the final tra n s fer of funds to Recognizing that both Knight-Ridder’s future and Jack the Fo u n d a ti on occurred on May 5, 1986, the distri buti on from Knight’s legacy of quality newspapers and journalistic integri- the bequest to t a l ed $428,144,588, making Kn i ght Foundati on ty were threatened by such a scenario, Hills moved slowly and the 21st largest U.S. foundati on based on asset size . gently to present his friend with another option: leaving the bulk of his estate to the Foundation. Knight initially had little use for the idea. He intended to leave the Foundation nothing. Then, over a social dinner at Hills’ home, Knight began to reconsider seriously as Hills and his wife, Tina, discussed the possibility with their friend and his soon-to-be wife, Betty Augustus, the widow of a Cleveland industrialist. Shortly thereafter Knight rewrote his will, asking Hills to journey to Cleveland to review the docume nt with his attorney. Signed in April 1975, the will left the bulk of his estate to Knight Foundation. Few friends and associates knew abo ut the bequ e s t . Nonetheless, the Foundation took on a new character. In late 1975, the Foundation acquired its first office and hired its first two full-time employees. Ben Maidenburg, a Beacon Journal news executive, was named president. Maidenburg had been a Foundation trustee since 1957 and had served as the Foundation’s part-time manager. Shirley Follo, his long- time secretary, followed him to the Foundation. Over the next few years the Foundation focused on grants to educational and cultural institutions in the 11 cities where Knight Newspapers published. In addition, journalism educa- tion and free press issues emerged as a Foundation interest 9 1999 ANNUAL REPORT
  12. 12. T FIRST FIFT YEARS HE Y During that five-year period, Hills – at the request of Jim Creed Black, a veteran Knight-Ridder news executive and for- Knight, the Foundation’s new chairman – guided the board in mer publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader, assumed the an intense strategic planning process that resulted in a gover- pre s i dency. Under Bl ack’s leadership the Foundation’s nati on a l nance structure as well as programming and financial poli- presence grew with such high-profile efforts as the Knight cies. That planning process served as the blueprint for the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a blue-ribbon com- Foundation’s work for the rest of the 20th century. mission that advocated for reform of college athletics for six Key decisions in 1986 included expansion of the board of years; the Knight Chair in Journalism, a program that sought trustees from nine to 13 and adoption of a committee process to elevate the quality of education at the nation’s best journal- that enabled all trustees to participate fully in programming, ism schools by attracting notable working journalists to serve finance and personnel policy making. Hills was elected board as educators through an endowed chair; and the National vice chairman and appointed chairman of the Program and Community Development Initiative (NCDI), the largest phil- Planning Committee. anthropic collaboration in U.S. history. In becoming a found- In grant making, a formal Cities Program emerged in ing member of NCDI, the Foundation joined with other more than 30 cities where Knight-Ridder had properties. In national grant-makers in what would eventually become a journalism, the Foundation built on the Knights’ legacy of decade-long program to strengthen community development support for education as the cornerstone of quality journal- corporations in support of their efforts to bring needed hous- ism by establishing, salvaging or strengthening some of the ing and economic and social services to urban neighborhoods profession’s most prestigious midcareer fellowship programs across America. for journalists. Host insti tuti ons inclu ded Ha rva rd , Yale, In 1990 the board of trustees voted to relocate the Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Fo u n d a ti on’s head qu a rters from Ak ron to Miami, wh ere University of Michigan, the University of Maryland and several board members liv ed or spe nt considerable time. Stanford, where the John S. Knight Fellowships were estab- Simultaneously, the staff nearly doubled to 14 – an outgrowth lished in 1982. of the growing complexity of grants, the increased amount of Soon thereafter, the board created separate programs for money given away and the need for more sophisticated over- education and arts and culture, the two fields in which the sight of the Foundation’s $522 mill i on portfo l i o. The Foundation had traditionally made most of its local grants. Foundation also reached a milestone: In its first 40 years, it The new programs made the Foundation a national funder in had given away a total of $100 million – a sum that would these areas – a move immediately reflected through the Excel- increase more than fourfold by the end of the decade. lence in Undergraduate Education Program, an initiative that Prom pted by the dramatic and rapid changes, the gave 39 liberal arts colleges and universities the opportunity board in late 1990 decided to initiate a strategic planning to test new approaches to curriculum, diversity and other process to review current programming and create a blueprint instituti onal-strengthening ch a ll enges. The Excellence progra m for the future. Before the first meeting was held, however, Jim was soon fo ll owed by Pre s i den tial Le adership Grants for small, Kn i ght died in Febru a ry 1991, l e aving a bequest to the priva te liberal arts co ll ege s , many of t h emserving special pop- Foundation that eventually totaled $200 million. ulations. In recogn i ti on of t h eir cre a tivi ty and the promise of Hills was elected to succeed Jim Knight as chairman, t h eir leaders h i p, the Fo u n d a ti onsu rpri s ed the leaders of these while W. Gerald Austen, M.D., an internationally known heart instituti ons with modest ch ecks (at firs t , $100,000, and later, surgeon and the surgeon-in-chief at Massachusetts General $150,000) to be used at their discreti on . Hospital, was elected vice chairman to succeed Hills. Just as he The Foundati on also laid the gro u n dwork for the crea- had at Knight Newspapers, Hills once again became the first ti on of the Newspaper Management Center at Northwestern nonfamily member to head a Knight organization. Austen, a University, where a strong business school united with a high- board member since 1987, was the Knights’ physician and ly regarded journalism school to provide midlevel and senior longtime friend. newspaper executives critical training for managing a news- Aware that Jim Knight’s bequest made the strategic plan- paper for the 21st century. ning process even more timely and impor tant, the board A key change in leadership occurred in February 1988 as undertook an extensive one-year strategic planning exercise 10 JOHN S. JA M E S L . K N I G H T F O U N D AT I O N AND
  13. 13. HISTORY GLANCE AT A Excellence in Undergratuate in Education conference, 1993. Henry King Stanford and Ben Maidenburg, left, Cornel West Knight Foundation with Jack Knight on trustees, 1986. Knight’s 85th birthday Alvah Chapman, Barbara Toomey, James L. Knight, Henry King Stanford, John F. Kennedy, C.C. Gibson, Charles John S. Knight Gordon Heffern, Landon Knight at IAPA gathering standing; Lee Hills, in Miami James L. Knight, Nov. 18, 1963 seated Early members of Lee Hills Knight Foundation's Knight Newspapers Jim Knight's family. LeRoy Walker, board included go public, 1969. Left to right: president of the Lee Hills, far left; Left to right: son-in-law Reed Toomey, United States Jim Knight, center; Alvah H.Chapman, daughter Marilyn North, Olympic Committee, Blake McDowell, James L. Knight, daughter Marjorie Crane, was a member of the second from right a Knight Jim Knight, Knight Foundation Newspaper trader, wife Mary Ann Knight, Commission Lee Hills, daughter Barbara Toomey, on Intercollegiate Creed C. Black Clara John S. Knight and daughter Beverly Olson Athletics Irene Knight 1950 1954 1965 1966 1969 1972 1975 1978 1980 1981 1982 1986 1987 1988 1989 Knight Foundation was The first grant to a journalism Clara I. Knight, the Knights’ The board of trustees voted to Congress passed the Tax Reform To raise enough cash for the Jack Knight signed his final will, C.C. Gibson, a longtime Akron The board of trustees concluded John S. Knight died on June 16, The board of trustees voted to Knight Foundation became the The new Journalism Program Creed Black, publisher of the The Education Program established with $9,047 in organization, the Inter mother, died Nov. 12, bequeathing end the financial aid program Act of 1969, which severely new legislation’s grant payout leaving the bulk of his share of civic activist and friend of its first strategic planning exercise leaving the Foundation 6,356,504 extend grant making to all cities 21st largest foundation in the was launched with major grants Lexington Herald-Leader, suc- launched its first initiative, Akron, Ohio, to carry out the American Press Association, the Foundation 180,000 shares for college students and to restricted the business holdings requirements, the Foundation the newly created Knight-Ridder Jack Knight, replaced an ailing with a key decision to continue shares of Knight-Ridder stock served by Knight-Ridder Inc., U.S. with the final transfer of for midcareer fellowships at ceeded C.C. Gibson as president. Excellence in Undergraduate work of the Knight Memorial supported a scholarship fund. of Knight Newspapers stock, replace it with direct grants to of foundations and required a arranged for the sale of Newspapers Inc. to Knight Maidenburg as president. the program of grants focused then valued at $241.5 million. though the decision was not fully funds from the John S. Knight Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Education. Over the next Education Fund, a college then valued at $5.2 million. individual colleges and universi- minimum payout in grants. Clara Knight’s stock in a Foundation. The Foundation on journalism and the 11 James L. Knight succeeded his implemented until the final estate. The bequest totaled the Massachusetts Institute of The board added two new three years, nearly $10 million scholarship and loan program The bequest was the Foundation’s ties and state associations of secondary offering by Knight opened its first office in Akron cities where the original Knight brother as chairman. An intensive settlement of John S. Knight’s $428,144,588. Technology and the University national program areas – Arts was provided to 39 private that had been created in first major infusion of assets. higher education institutions. Newspapers. The sale raised with two full-time employees: Newspapers were published. five-year planning effort, guided estate in 1986. of Michigan. At the University and Culture and Education. liberal arts colleges for innovative 1940 to honor the memory On a highly selective basis, the $21,343,500. The Foundation Ben Maidenburg, former Akron The board also voted to expand by long-time trustee Lee Hills, The Foundation adopted its of Maryland, the Foundation projects that strengthened of Charles Landon Knight, Foundation also began making embarked on an expanded Beacon Journal executive the board of trustees by adding began to prepare the Foundation A $4 million grant endowed first statement of purpose, created the Knight Center The Foundation established the undergraduate education. father of John S. and grants to educational and grants program, continuing editor, who served as president, one new family member – Jim for its much larger asset base the John S. Knight Fellowships which reaffirmed the two for Specialized Journalism, a Newspaper Management Center James L. Knight. cultural organizations in cities its focus on educational and and his secretary, Shirley Follo. Knight’s daughter, Barbara and grant-making program. for Professional Journalists at principal emphases: journalism program of short courses on at Northwestern University. The Knight Foundation with Knight newspapers. cultural institutions in cities Toomey – and a member not Stanford University, the first and improving the quality of specialized subjects for working Commission on Intercollegiate John S. Knight, James L. Knight with Knight newspapers but associated with either the of several continuing education life in Knight-Ridder cities. journalists. At the University Athletics was created to study outside of the new also adding major journalism family or company – banker opportunities for working jour- of Florida and the University and recommend a plan of action Miami Herald building organizations and projects to Gordon Heffern. nalists and news executives that The board approved a new of Missouri, grants created to address widespread abuses its list of funded groups. the Foundation supported – and governance structure that five-year experimental programs in college athletics. Co-chaired in some instances created – at remained in effect through the to recruit, educate and place by former Notre Dame president some of the nation’s major end of the century. The new minority journalists. Father Theodore Hesburgh C.C. Gibson Clara Knight universities. structure expanded the board and former University of North (Mrs. Charles John S. Knight of trustees from nine to 13 Carolina president William Landon Knight) at Underwood members and incorporated the Friday, the commission produced typewriter principle of family, company three reports that contributed The Journalism Lee Hills signs and independent representation to the momentum for reform, Program made agreement with grants to on the board. Work also began which culminated in the Stanford President enhance minority on a comprehensive revision of restructuring of the National Donald Kennedy recruiting and the Articles of Incorporation and Collegiate Athletic Association renaming the retention programs John S. Knight Code of Regulations, which the (NCAA). The commission Fellowship Program. board approved in 1988. disbanded in 1996. C.C. Gibson is in background with Lee Hills was elected vice chairman. Albert Hastorf 11 12 13 14 1999 ANNUAL REPORT 1999 ANNUAL REPORT JOHN S. JA M E S L . K N I G H T F O U N DAT I O N JOHN S. JA M E S L . K N I G H T F O U N DAT I O N AND AND

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