The founding of the Scripps Howard Foundation can be traced to a letter Charles E. Scripps wrote to Jack R. Howard on June 15, 1960, suggesting the Foundation as a way to handle a growing number of charitable contribution requests to the company. The original Foundation, incorporated on August 15, 1962 with the state of Ohio, has a more specific mission "recognizing, encouraging, improving, developing, stimulating and supporting the interests and educational and/or literacy capabilities of persons and institutions who have made, are making, or are believed capable of making contributions to the field of journalism in the United States." Since then, the Foundation has expanded to support communities where Scripps does business and programs for Scripps employees.
Founding trustees were Charles E. Scripps, Jack R. Howard, Edward W. (Ted) Scripps II, and two financial executives, Robert F. Winkler, secretary/treasurer of The Edward W. Scripps Trust and Harold E. Neave, secretary/treasurer of The E. W. Scripps Company. The original offices were in New York City, then the company's headquarters.
It was an endeavor E.W. Scripps' eldest grandson, Robert P. Scripps, promptly supported with a gift of 100 shares of Scripps company preferred stock. Robert Scripps went on to become the Foundation's major individual supporter and an emeritus trustee. His desire to give back to the communities and employees that helped build the company led to creation of the Foundation's Community Fund. Robert Scripps died in 2012 but his influence continues to be felt through the programs his generosity began.
Jack Howard served as president and Charles Scripps as chairman during the Foundation's first five years. Upon his death in 1998 at age 87, Howard left a bequest to the Foundation in excess of $7 million.
By 1969, the Foundation had an established scholarship and special grants program and a handful of national competitions to foster excellence in journalism. Charles Scripps and Jack Howard retained their membership but stepped down as trustees and officers; Walker Stone, editor-in-chief of Scripps Howard Newspapers, succeeded them as chairman of the board and president.
Matt Meyer, former business manager for Scripps New York World Telegram and Sun, succeeded Stone as president and chairman in 1971. During Meyer's tenure, the Foundation's annual budget grew from approximately $100,000 to $500,000 and the journalism awards program expanded.
In 1979, Jacques A. Caldwell, general business manager/vice president of marketing for Scripps Howard Newspapers, succeeded Meyer as president. He became chairman in 1980 when Meyer was named chairman-emeritus. Foundation offices were moved from New York to corporate offices in Cincinnati in 1981.
In 1986, Albert J. Schottelkotte, senior vice president of Scripps Howard Broadcasting Company, became president and CEO.He served as chairman in 1996. Under Schottlekotte's leadership, the Foundation established the Scripps Howard Visiting Professional Chair at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and the Ernie Pyle State Historic Site in Dana, Ind.; created the Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental Reporting; became a leader in the national literacy campaign; and expanded the scholarship program.
In 1996, Judith G. Clabes became president and CEO of a new and expanding Scripps Howard Foundation. She served as chairman in 2008. Clabes was editor of Scripps Kentucky Post for 13 years and before that was editor of the company's Sunday Courier & Press in Evansville, Ind. She brought an extensive background in journalism education and community service to the Foundation.
On her watch, the Foundation's annual giving surpassed $7 million, the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University was founded, the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University was established, and programming has greatly expanded to internships, mid-career development, diversity initiatives, international study and Washington reporting opportunities for student journalists, focused programs for Hispanic students, and First Amendment causes.
Alan Horton, retired senior vice president of newspapers for The E. W. Scripps Company, was named chairman in December 2004 and retired in May 2008.
Mike Philipps, a career newspaper journalist, was named president and CEO in 2008. He joined Scripps in 1977 as a reporter at The Cincinnati Post and during his 30 years at the newspaper served in roles of increasing importance until 2001, when he was promoted to editor of The Cincinnati Post and The Kentucky Post. He will retire as Foundation president in mid-2015. During his Foundation tenure, Philipps encouraged partner universities to adapt to the changing practices of the media industry and refocused the foundation from an organization rooted exclusively in print and broadcast to one aligned with the multi-platform and digital priorities of the company. He also presided over the rebranding and unprecedented growth of the Scripps Howard Awards national journalism competition.