History of The Robert R. Hosokawa Endowment:
In 2000, an endowed lectureship was established at Whitman College by David and Beverly Hosokawa, and the Hosokawa Family Foundation. Intended to be a celebration of journalistic excellence, the lectureship honors Robert R. Hosokawa, David’s father, by bringing a noted journalist to campus. The endowment also established the Hosokawa Prize to be awarded each year in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence as demonstrated by student journalists and photojournalists of Whitman Wire.
Robert Hosokawa graduated from Whitman College in 1940 with honors in English. He was considering law school when he and other Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps at the start of World War II. Robert and his wife were allowed to leave their internment camp in Idaho only after one of his former Whitman professors helped find him a job at a newspaper in Independence, Missouri. An Alumnus of Merit, Robert Hosokawa went on to become a reporter for several papers in New York, Iowa and Minnesota. He held journalism professorships at the University of Missouri and the University of Central Florida and has been a mentor to many young journalists.
2023 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture
The 2023 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture took place on Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center Young Ballroom. Journalist Alexander Heffner delivered a talk titled “Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age.”
Heffner is the host of “The Open Mind” on PBS and co-author of the bestselling book, “A Documentary History of the United States.” He is the recipient of Johns Hopkins University’s Agora Institute Fellowship, University of Denver’s Anvil of Freedom Award, Franklin Pierce University’s Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication, and Yale University’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism. He has covered American culture, politics and civic life since the 2008 presidential campaign, and his writing appears in USA Today, Wired, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and beyond.
2023 Hosokawa Journalism Awards
The 2023 Hosokawa Journalism Awards went to:
- Sebastian Squire ’25 - “Update on Walla Walla book banning efforts" (News)
- Charlotte Elliott ’23 - “Students vs alumni: The ultimate frisbee showdown” (Sports)
- Samantha Fitts ’23 - “What It’s Like to Transition at Whitman” (Features/Arts and Entertainment)
- Bex Heimbrock ’25 - “BePanopticon” (Opinion/Editorial)
- Jake Lee ’25 - “Into the Box” (Photography)
2023 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture
The 2022 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture took place on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center Young Ballroom. Journalist Corrine Chin delivered a talk titled “Lead From Where You Are: Visual Storytelling for Inclusion and Innovation.”
As Director of News Talent for Recruitment at the Associated Press (AP), she works to bring new, diverse journalists to the AP. She is a former senior video journalist at The Seattle Times, where she founded and led that newsroom's Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. She has also worked at CNN as a senior video producer.
As a storyteller, Chin amplifies underrepresented voices through innovative online video projects like “Beyond the Border,” a series of visual stories exploring immigration and deportation, and “Under Our Skin,” an interactive documentary exploring the words we use—and misuse—to talk about race in America. Her work has been recognized by the National Emmy Awards, Online News Association, Radio Television Digital News Association (national Edward R. Murrow Awards), NPPA Best of Photojournalism, Pictures of the Year International and more.
2022 Hosokawa Journalism Awards
The 2022 Hosokawa Journalism Awards went to:
- Rosa Woolsey ’23 - “Whitman’s Asian-American community reflects on Atlanta shooting, discrimination and identity” (News)
- Hailey Livingston ’22 - “Whitman didn’t count you in the security report? Me too.” (Opinion)
- Jaime Fields ’23 - “Women’s basketball team 5–0 for the season thus far” (Sports)
- Zoe Schacter-Brodie ’23 - “Uncareful self-care” (Feature)
- Bridget Kennedy ’23 - “DISCO offers space for disabled students to connect and confront ableism” (Photography)
2021 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture
The 2021 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture took place virtually on Monday, April 26 at 6 p.m. Emmy Award-winning journalist Mireya Villarreal delivered a talk titled “Breaking: Covering the Country’s Biggest Stories in the Midst of a Pandemic.”
Villarreal joined CBS News in 2015 and has covered a wide range of breaking news stories including COVID-19, family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency’s contaminated water leak into the Colorado River in Durango, Colorado. She has also reported on the devastating wildfires in California that burned 36,000 acres in 2016, as well as the methane gas leak in Porter Ranch, California, that caused thousands to evacuate their homes.
In 2019, Villarreal moved back to Texas, her home state, to help cover the Southern Region for CBS News; a total of 16 states from Florida to New Mexico.
In the last two years she’s covered a wide range of stories including immigration issues and sexual assault in the military. She was the first national correspondent to shed light on the disappearance of Vanessa Guillen and the subsequent changes made by the Army. Her continued coverage of the recent migrant surge along the southern border has also given people all over the world a unique understanding of why these people are coming to the United States, who is bearing the brunt of the surge, and how the administration is responding.
A veteran investigative reporter, she is the recipient of two Texas Associated Press Awards for stories on immigration and child safety.
2021 Hosokawa Journalism Awards
The 2021 Hosokawa Journalism Awards went to:
- Lena Friedman ’21 - “19 Million Down in Revenue, Whitman Halts Mandatory Furloughs in Favor of Tiered Cuts” (News)
- Renny Acheson ’22 - “‘Fire Stories’ Explores Ecology and History” (Feature)
- Sile Surman ’24 - “Why Name Pronunciation Matters” (Opinion)
- Lennae Starr ’21 - “Intramural Sports Cater to Niche Communities” (Sports)
- Dana Kendrick ’21` - “Chastity Belt and Reptaliens in Review” (Photography)
Previous Hosokawa Journalism Lectures:
- 2020: Lecture canceled due to pandemic.
- 2019: “My View from Flyover Country: A Life in Media and Politics” by Sarah Kendior.
- 2018: “Is the First Amendment the New Second Amendment? Calling Hate Speech Free Speech and Getting Away With It” by David Wheeler.
- 2017: “Covering Trump: Fake News, Alternative Facts and What Matters” by Marshall Ingwerson.