Plans in the Works for Hazel Dicken-Garcia Donation

24 Feb 2022 12:38 PM | Erika Pribanic-Smith (Administrator)

by Aimee Edmondson, AJHA President

As many of you know, long-time AJHA member and friend Hazel Dicken-Garcia bequeathed $22,664 to the organization. She died May 30, 2018, at the age of 79. 


There have been many discussions about how best to honor her memory and utilize these funds to further the work of the AJHA. And one of my first acts as president last October was to ask outgoing President Donna Lampkin Stephens to lead the Long-Range Planning Committee in developing a recommendation for the use of the gift. 


The Long-Range Planning Committee consists of the current chairs of all committees and two immediate past presidents of the AJHA; it is chaired by the immediate past president of the organization. 


At the last in-person conference in Dallas in 2019, the president of our organization first asked the Long-Term Planning Committee to investigate ways to use the Dicken-Garcia bequest and make a recommendation to the board. However, due to continued disruption caused by the pandemic, the chair of that committee determined to wait until in-person conventions returned in order to best engage the AJHA membership regarding funding proposals. The chair felt that issues related to the pandemic might change priorities for the funding in unpredictable ways. 


Hopefully, we are emerging from the pandemic. Or maybe we just have a new normal. And as we ramp up for our in-person conference in Memphis, I have renewed the focus of the AJHA leadership in establishing and executing a plan for Dicken-Garcia’s generous gift this year. 


Also, as many of you know, she was known for her dedication to journalism education and media history. She taught in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for 30 years. She also was the 2006 recipient of the AJHA’s Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement. In addition, she was among the first to explore the evolution of journalistic ethics, and her students populate newsrooms and universities across the country. 


For additional context, Dicken-Garcia also bequeathed funds to the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and in 2019 that organization established the Hazel Dicken-Garcia Outstanding Master’s Thesis in Journalism and Mass Communication History award to recognize the top thesis completed in the prior calendar year.  


Stay tuned to the Intelligencer for updates on this issue. Meanwhile please feel free to reach out to me at or Donna at with any feedback regarding the use of the Dicken-Garcia gift.

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