B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2000
When Mary Schurz graduated from Denison with an English major in 1960, she had already begun her career in journalism through summer joins in the newsroom of the South Bend Tribune. After graduation, she worked for two California newspapers before joining the Associated Press in New York in 1966, where she wrote in a wide variety of areas.
In 1975, Mary returned to her family-owned newspaper business in the Midwest as a management trainee. She worked in all departments, including press, of the Herald-Telephone (Bloomington, Indiana). When the company acquired the Advocate-Messenger and the Kentucky Advocate in Danville, Kentucky she joined the two newspapers’ staff and in 1978 became editor and publisher, while also holding a number of leadership roles in journalism associations. Mary is a Director of the Newspaper Association of America, and a past member of the Associated Press Board of Directors, as well as of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. She is a past President and Director of the Kentucky Press Association and the Kentucky Associated Press Editors Association. Mary is Vice President, Secretary and Director of her family business, Schurz Communications, Inc. In 1998, she was named an honorary member of The Indiana Academy, an organization that promotes scientific, artistic, literary, cultural and scholarly achievement and/or philanthropic support and service to higher education in Indiana.
Mary’s community service involvements, often behind-the-scenes, have been invaluable to her community and beyond. She has been active in her local United Way, the Boyle County Leadership Program and the Heart of Danville, a local preservation organization. She and other community leaders created the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, an annual festival in which her own company’s Advocate Brass Band participates. Mary has served for the last decade as Trustee for Centre College and of historic Shakertown of Pleasant Hill.
Mary’s brother, Scott C. Schurz ’57, also holds the Denison Alumni Citation.