‘Chart’ to induct 4 into first ever HOF class

Members of a 1950s Chart staff work to produce the newspaper.

'Chart' file photo

Members of a 1950s Chart staff work to produce the newspaper.

After studying journalism at the University of Tulsa, then spending two years in the U.S Army, Jack Brannan joined the United Press International (UPI) news agency.

Before his long list of successes as a professional journalist, Brannan started off here at Missouri Southern. He served as the Sports Editor of The Chart.

During his 20 years serving as editor and management executive and a UPI newsman, Brannan traveled the world serving different positions in different places.

In 1969, he became the assistant foreign news editor at UPI’s world headquarters in New York.

Years later, Brannan also served as the news bureau and media relations director for the New York Stock Exchange and later returned to journalism as a foreign news editor at The Los Angeles Times.

Brannan is one of four people who will be inducted into the newly established Chart Hall of Fame. These individuals will be recognized for their unique or exceptional contributions to the paper and their profession during an induction ceremony that will take place  at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Briarbrook Country Club in Carl Junction.

The Chart has had a very rich history thoughout the years,” Director of the Institute of International Studies and former Chart adviser Chad Stebbins said. “Some remarkable students and people have started here … This is an opportunity for us to honor our heritage and inspire current students by showing them the successes of these people. It will give them a better understanding of the [Chart’s] history and reputation.”

The requirements of the Hall of Fame are that the person must be a former student or adviser, must have worked a minimum of one year for the paper while holding a position above staff writer and at least 10 years must have passed since their time on The Chart.

The Chart provides a wonderful experiential learning opportunity for students,” Missouri Southern President Bruce Speck said. “This year’s inductees include advisors and alumni, showcasing how that learning opportunity can have a lasting impact on inductees’ lives,” Speck said.

The class of 2012 includes two living members and two members who will be inducted posthumously.

Kenneth McCaleb will be inducted for establishing The Chart in 1939. His son, Robert McCaleb will be accepting the award on behalf of his late father.

McCaleb was drafted to serve in the US Army after his time at what was then called Joplin Junior College.

War devastated his young life and he took measures at Missouri Southern to help others avoid devastation by establishing the McCaleb Initiative for Peace for the purpose of examining the causes of war and discussing in The Chart ways that war can be prevented.

Cleetis Headlee was the faculty adviser of The Chart in 1948 and served for 19 years. Not only did she advise The Chart, but she also founded the teaching of journalism at the University.

During her tenure, the publication went on to win its first statewide awards and instilled the ethics of journalism to her students.

Most of Headlee’s students went on to pursue careers in journalism, as she urged and a large number of them became editors of major American newspapers, some even winning Pulitzer Prizes for their work.

Richard Massa became an adviser to The Chart in 1972.

In the beginning of his time here, he rebuilt the staff and secured adequate funding.

Through his leadership the publication brought in major awards. In 1980, Massa helped establish the department of communication and served as its first department head.

As department head, Massa established a radio station, a television station and introduced four new languages to the four that were already being taught at Southern.

Massa was instrumental in developing the Institute of International Studies and served as its first director during his final three years at Southern before retiring in 1999.

“The efforts and the contributions of these inductees cannot be touted highly enough,” current Chart Editor-in-Chief Jordan Larimore said. “They have gone on to have some of the most illustrious and impressive careers in any field, let alone in journalism.

‘It truly makes me feel honored to fill shoes that they’ve once worn themselves. The Chart can’t congratulate or thank them enough.”

The banquet will include speakers from the communications department, the induction ceremony, remarks from current Chart adviser Olive Sullivan and top editors and an open-mic opportunity for staff and alumni to share their Chart memories. 80-85 former staff members and alumni are expected to attend.

“We are a part of an honorable tradition,” Sullivan said. “Not just at MSSU as The Chart, but as members of the college press … I’m excited to see where the next few years take us.

“There are a lot of changes going on in our profession … but one thing we do know is that the art of the story will always be important and that there will always be a need for good storytellers.”