Lexington, Virginia • July 29, 2009
Caesar Andrews, one of the Detroit Free Press staff that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, is the newest Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Andrews, who left as executive editor of the Free Press to pursue his longtime interest in education, will join the department for the 12-week Fall Term. He will teach Editing for Print Media and a course of his own design, Covering Classic Journalism.
His professorship is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
"Caesar Andrews is well-known in the industry for his enlightened and energizing leadership," said Brian Richardson, head of the department of journalism. "And now the Pulitzer jury has recognized his commitment to superior journalism and serving his community. We are delighted that our students will be taught by a journalist of his stature."
Said Andrews: "Washington and Lee has an impressive journalism program. I am excited about spending a semester there and working closely with the next generation of journalists."
The Pulitzer Prize recognized the Free Press staff, especially reporters Jim Schaefer and M.L. Elrick, "for a distinguished example of reporting on significant issues of local concern, demonstrating originality and community expertise...."
According to the Pulitzer Web site, the Free Press uncovered "a pattern of lies by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick that included denial of a sexual relationship with his female chief of staff, prompting an investigation of perjury that eventually led to jail terms for the two officials." The prizes were announced April 20.
Andrews has been an editor and manager for nearly 30 years in a wide range of newsrooms - from a local weekly in Cocoa, Fla., to the launch of USA TODAY. He has worked in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Washington, D.C., all while with Gannett Co.
In addition to three years as executive editor at the Free Press, he served as editor of the Gannett News Service in Washington, D.C. for eight years. In that capacity he directed coverage of news from nation's capital during the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
He has also served as a board member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors. During his 2002 term as APME president, an annual award was established recognizing outstanding diversity efforts in U.S. newsrooms — the Robert C. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership.
Andrews is a frequent discussion leader at industry conferences, seminars and workshops on quality journalism, ethical decision-making, management, diversity and motivation. He taught journalism at Grambling State University, his alma mater, during a one-year leave.
Over the years, he has also participated in student outreach targeting future journalists. He has also been active in the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. He was a member of the reaccreditation team that visited Washington and Lee two years ago.
He has also been recognized with awards from both the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and from the Black College Communication Association - both for contributions to diversity.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.