Hall to induct seven new members Oct. 24

This story was posted on June 25, 2015.

Seven distinguished journalists have been selected as the 50th anniversary group of inductees for 2015 into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. They will be honored during an Oct. 24 ceremony.

Those to be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ceremony at Indiana University are:

  • Bob Daugherty, who covered seven presidents during their White House terms as a photographer for The Associated Press. Daugherty got his start in high school as a photographer for his hometown Marion Chronicle-Tribune. He moved on to the Indianapolis Star in 1960, and, a few years later, started a 43-year career with the AP, spending most of that time in Washington. He covered the White House from the administration of Lyndon Johnson until that of Bill Clinton. When he retired in 1997, he received the White House News Photographers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His distinctive photographs include one of Richard Nixon, arms and fingers raised in a “V” for victory as he boards a helicopter upon his resignation as president, as well as the iconic photograph of a world-weary President Johnson writing the speech he would deliver to the nation the next night announcing his withdrawal from the 1968 race for re-election.
  • Tom French, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. French grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana University in 1981. He then started a 27-year career at the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). He became nationally known for his narrative storytelling and won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for “Angels & Demons,” a series that chronicled the murder of an Ohio woman and her two teenage daughters. In 2009, French turned to fulltime teaching and now holds the Riley Endowed Chair in Journalism at Indiana University.
  • John Rumbach, editor and co-publisher of The Herald in Jasper, Indiana, who led it to the forefront of newspaper photography. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1973, he returned home to be a reporter at the Herald and four years later succeeded his father as managing editor. Rumbaugh soon became immersed in photography as the paper didn’t then have a fulltime photographer. He has since mentored numerous photographers who’ve become nationally known for their work. He has won a lengthy list of state and national photography honors, including the National Press Photographers Association’s Editor of the Year award.
  • Gene Slaymaker, a distinguished longtime Indianapolis radio and television reporter and newsroom leader. Slaymaker worked in radio and television in Ohio before joining WFBM radio and Channel 6 television in Indianapolis, becoming radio news editor in 1960. He produced many documentaries and talk shows for both radio and TV. In 1975, Slaymaker began 16 years as news director of WTLC-FM, where he trained and mentored numerous young reporters as the station won more than 200 state and national awards, including three National Headliners Awards for reporting and community service. Slaymaker also served as president of the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He died in 2012.
  • Lotys B. Stewart, a prolific writer as well as the fashion and home furnishings editor for The Indianapolis Star. A Butler University graduate, Stewart worked as a publicity director before becoming a women’s column writer for the Star in 1941. She also worked on the radio interview show “Women in War” about local women supporting the World War II effort. In 1946, she became the Star’s fashion editor and also served as president of the Woman’s Press Club of Indiana. Stewart continued writing for the Star until shortly before her death in 1963 at age 55.
  • Gary Varvel, who has become Indiana’s premier editorial cartoonist during a more than 35-year career with The Indianapolis Star. Known for his strong takes on state, national and international issues and his clever caricatures, Varvel’s work is now syndicated to more than 100 publications, and his cartoons have been featured in numerous national newspapers, magazines and television shows. His work has earned several national honors and dozens of awards as Indiana’s best editorial cartoonist.
  • Cleve Wilhoit, who spent 36 years as an Indiana University journalism professor and researcher. Wilhoit joined the IU faculty in 1967 and became known as an inspirational teacher and mentor for scores of students who went on to journalism careers across Indiana and the country. Wilhoit co-wrote three books, each published a decade apart, beginning in 1986, on the state and status of journalism and journalists around the United States.

The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame 50th anniversary is set for Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Indiana Memorial Union at Indiana University in Bloomington. The celebration will begin with a reception for current and past inductees at 10:30 a.m. in Alumni Hall, followed by the luncheon and induction ceremony. Those interested in attending the events may complete this form or may call 812-856-9898.

The lead sponsor for the golden anniversary event is American Senior Communities.

The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame was established by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1966 to recognize and honor Hoosier journalists who have significantly contributed to the profession. The hall now is housed at Indiana University’s Media School.


  • Complete this form to mail in to reserve your spot for the celebration.
  • See more details on the print invitation (PDF).
  • Email or call 812-856-9898 for more information.


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