The beginnings 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."
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 has continued to be the Foundation's major individual supporter. He is an Emeritus Trustee today.
Jack Howard served as president and Charles Scripps as chairman during the Foundation's first five years. On 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 the New York World Telegram and Sun, succeeded Walker 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, Indiana; 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 The Kentucky Post for 13 years and before that was editor of the Sunday Courier & Press in Evansville, Indiana. She brought an extensive background in journalism education and community service to the Foundation.
On her watch, the Foundation's annual giving has 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.
Patty Cottingham, formerly with The Kentucky Post and The Cincinnati Post, became executive director in 1996 and vice president/administration in 2005.
Sue Porter joined the Foundation as vice president/programs in 2005.
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 February 2008. Philipps joined Scripps in 1977 as a reporter for The Cincinnati Post. During his 30 years at the newspaper he served in roles of increasing importance, including assistant city editor, news editor, metropolitan editor and assistant managing editor. He was named editor of The Cincinnati Post and its sister newspaper, The Kentucky Post, in 2001.
In the community Philipps has been a proponent for better public education and served on numerous education-related boards.
Today's Foundation has grown far beyond the original focus on journalism. The Foundation also administers the Greater Cincinnati Fund for charitable endeavors in the Greater Cincinnati region, sponsors a Matching Gift Program, a Volunteer Grant Program and the William R. Burleigh Award for Distinguished Community Service for employees, and National Merit Scholarships and Scholarship America Scholarships for employees' children. The Community Fund focuses on general charitable giving in all communities in which Scripps does business.