Journalism Alumni Hall of Fame to induct retired Bee publisher

Recently retired Fresno Bee president and publisher Ray Steele Jr. will be the inaugural inductee to the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Alumni Hall of Fame at California State University, Fresno.

The induction ceremony is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Smittcamp Alumni House at Fresno State. It also will be a fundraiser for the renovation of the department’s computer laboratory.

Steele, a Fresno County native, graduated in 1968. He worked at the Associated Press Fresno bureau, while still attending classes, and joined The Fresno Bee as a reporter in 1967. He rose to metro editor before accepting a series of executive assignments for Bee owner McClatchy Newspapers (now the McClatchy Co.; NYSE symbol: MNI), headquartered in Sacramento.

He was appointed publisher and president at The Fresno Bee in 2001.

Steele has served on the boards of the California State University, Fresno Foundation, Fresno Business Council, Fresno Metropolitan Museum and Economic Development Corporation of Fresno County. He was the Fresno State alumni Association 2005 Top Dog Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Arts and Humanities.

Steele recently donated enough money to purchase 20 iMac computers for the laboratory. The students organizing, publicizing and hosting Thursday’s event hope other alumni will follow his model of generosity.

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