The Fresno State community is saddened to learn today of the death of James McClatchy who was honored just last week at our Commencement with a Doctor of Humane Letters conferred by the California State University and Fresno State.

James McClatchy devoted his life to journalism and earned worldwide respect for his tireless efforts on behalf of freedom of the press. We appreciated his generous spirit and the strong stand he has taken across the globe for a free press as an essential tool of democracy. We are particularly grateful that Mr. McClatchy established an endowment to support the Classics and bilingual education programs at California State University, Fresno. His commitment to the Central Valley will continue to benefit students at Fresno State for years to come.

It was our honor to recognize him with the honorary doctorate at the Fresno State Commencement on May 20 in the Save Mart Center on campus. I know that Mr. McClatchy was pleased to meet students and faculty while he was here. He took the time to personally meet them, something that will be long remembered by our university family — graduates, faculty and staff.

Fresno State Programs funded by the McClatchy Endowment

• Phebe McClatchy Conley Scholarships in the area of Classics (scholarships for students studying Classics.

• Phebe McClatchy Conley Classics Lecture Series (a lecture series for Classics to bring world renown scholars to campus).

• Phebe McClatchy Conley Teachers Scholarships (stipend for graduate students doing research in Classics)

• Phebe McClatchy Conley Bilingual Teachers Scholarships (scholarships for students studying to become bilingual teachers)

VIDEO — A six-minute video clip of the conferral of the honorary doctorate on the late James McClatchy at Fresno State’s 95th Commencement is available at Statement.htm