Tag Archives: Chuck Stone


It’s the season for goodbyes on campus. Graduation next week will send off more than 400 Journalism undergraduates and about 35 masters and PhDs. They all head to the next stop.  It’s a wonderful sense of goodbyes for most. New adventures. New cities. New jobs. New challenges.
And in the midst of the goodbyes are awards—awards and awards and more awards. You feel the power of recognition in those accomplishments. I don’t believe that awards are the measure of a life. But this season students in the school have won so many peer reviewed scholarly research paper submissions and national professional competitions, that I am truly moved by the sense of accomplishment. Not just our students’ accomplishments, but those who got them to this point: faculty mentors and coaches.
Last week we learned JOMC students won a first place Webby, second Place National Sports Emmy, a first place finish in regionals and a follow up bid to the National Student Advertising Competition’s championship in Boca Raton, and three national Mark of Excellence radio first place finishes. I’m sure there are more wins, I am just having trouble keeping track of the drumbeat of success.

There were some major goodbyes this week. Bill Cloud who left a successful career in the news business to join the school as professor of journalism and a pied piper of editing skills said his goodbyes. He followed a series of UNC professors who came out of newspapers and drilled accuracy, grammar and writing with comas and clarity into their students. He was an evangelist for new technology but admitted the advent of twitter and mobile first and all things digital was daunting for the most open of professors who attempts to prepare students for every platform’s demands.

And a final goodbye. A few hundred showed up on a glorious Carolina Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to Chuck Stone, a professor for 14 years at the school,   Stone’s career as a newsman and columnist spanned the entire drama of the civil rights movement. He covered everyone from Martin Luther King to Malcolm X , was a White House correspondent and a Capital Hill aid to Adam Clayton Powell, and a columnist who defined an era of Philadelphia. In Chapel Hill he turned students into citizens of the world and made them laugh and think. Students of his flew in from as far away as Miami to pay tribute to a teacher who pushed reporters to be audacious and truthful.

After all the tributes by colleagues, and institutions and leaders, Chuck Stone’s son Charles Stone III said the final goodbye and stole the show.   The resume didn’t mean as much to him as his father’s gift of swing: the ability to live in the moment, in the zone, in the space where improvisation soars.   Chuck Stone was a man of huge accomplishments. For his son, the magical moments with his Dad were the true accomplishments.

Goodbyes can be sad when one doesn’t experience them regularly. However, at a University, every spring season brings goodbyes. It is part of the cycle of change and continuity that keeps a school alive to the present, aware of its history and pointed to the future.

I hate goodbyes. But in a Carolina week like this I find myself energized by the power of touching lives as they begin, as they change and as they celebrate accomplishments and lives well lived.






Chuck Stone

Just a week ago I told a colleague. I want to meet him. Chuck Stone was the kind of man and journalist one had to experience. Not simply read about.

This morning I learned I never would meet Chuck Stone – his illness had won out.

I immediately turned to YouTube where interviews live and where the sound of Chuck Stone’s voice, the twinkle in his eye and his sartorial splendor will stay vivid. It’s a short news story about the election of Barack Obama and it is worth watching. Chuck Stone looks young and vigorous and optimistic.


All day I’ve read thoughts, and jottings and memories of J-school faculty who worked with Chuck Stone. There wasn’t simply sadness on the faculty listserv today. There was joyous remembering:

Only a handful of people I have met in my life truly had the ability to inspire. Chuck was one of those extraordinary people. I will cherish my memories of him. 

                                                                                                                                 John Sweeney

Another big timber has fallen in the forest.

I am sitting in haloed ground this morning; Shu’s former office, where he and Chuck carried on, cussed and laughed. 

And at Chuck’s passing, I recall his great lesson at a J-53 Mid-Week Special from years back…(paraphrased here) …that ‘multiculturalism” isn’t just one race putting up with another…it’s that we should all be celebrating one another. 

Jock Lauterer

He was one of the first people to welcome me to Carolina…. so accomplished, yet so unassuming. I’ll never forget him.

                                                                                                                                    Charlie Tuggle

Although we are sad to hear the news, there is much to celebrate in the life of Chuck Stone and his many accomplishments. He (Chuck) was an original—a Tuskegee Airman, a publisher and editor, founding father of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Carolina Association of Black Journalists (CABJ), a member of the N.C. Journalism Halls of Fame, and more accolades—too many to cite here.

Napoleon was interviewed by the DTH for his thoughts on Chuck Stone and his wonderful legacy of fighting for diversity and the rights of all citizens. “We will remember him as an original whose life was committed to advancing diversity in all its forms,” Napoleon commented. “Chuck was a role model for us all—in the classroom and in life.”                                     

Queenie Byars

Chuck Stone, Citizen of the World.

We were “family” from the first day he arrived. Our shared admiration of all-things-Andy-Griffith led us to take the “Andy Griffith Appreciation Course” at Alamance Community College about 3 months after he arrived. What a class that was!

                                                                                                                                            Jo Bass

Chuck liked to quote scripture, and his favorite, as I recall it, was from Timothy II:     “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”

Would make a good epitaph.

                                                                                                                                         Phil Meyer

Visitors to the assisted living home he was living in these last few years found that Chuck Stone had moments of real laughter and memory, but also moments where he couldn’t remember. Today, many who knew him—and those of us who didn’t—will feel again the optimism of a journalist and educator who brought a vision of diversity and its power to life. That optimism and promise lives on in the students who have competed and won a place in the summer program that bears his name. The Chuck Stone program. This summer he won’t be with them – but I am certain that his power and passion will.

Chuck Stone’s spirit and impact isn’t diminished in death. It’s shared with young diverse students who seek a place in the American dream.