Chart Hall of Fame to Induct First Five Members

September 13, 2012

Dr. Chad Stebbins

JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - An inaugural class will be inducted into a Hall of Fame for The Chart, the campus newspaper at Missouri Southern State University, during an Oct. 6 banquet.

Plans call for a new class to be inducted every five years. The Hall of Fame will give recognition to former students and advisers of the student newspaper who have made distinctive, unique or exceptional contributions to the paper and/or the profession,

Nominees must have attended Joplin Junior College or Missouri Southern State University, or been employed by JJC or MSSU. They must have worked a minimum of one year on The Chart staff and held a position above staff writer or staff member. At least 10 years must have passed since the nominee last worked for The Chart.

The Class of 2012 includes two living members and two members who will be inducted posthumously.

Kenneth McCaleb (posthumous inductee) graduated from Joplin Junior College, the forerunner of Missouri Southern State University, in 1941. During his two years at the junior college, he established The Chart. After graduation Kenneth was drafted into the United States Army just five days before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He became a navigator aboard a B-17 flying bombing missions over Germany during World War II. On his 19th mission, Kenneth McCaleb was shot down. It was Oct. 14, 1943. He spent the next 19 months in German prisoner of war camps before being released on April 29, 1945. He was 25 years old. War devastated his young life and in 1998 he took steps to help other young people avoid that kind of devastation. Kenneth McCaleb and his wife, Margaret Baughman McCaleb, established the McCaleb Initiative for Peace at MSSU for the purpose of examining the causes of war and discussing in The Chart ways by which war can be prevented. He retired from the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Ala., in 1982. He died in 2002.

Robert McCaleb of Cleveland, Tenn., will accept the honor on behalf of his father.

Cleetis Headlee, (posthumous inductee) professor of English at Joplin Junior College, took the position as faculty adviser of The Chart in 1948. She did more than advise the newspaper, however; she founded the teaching of journalism at the college, and in doing so she sought to instill in her students the ethics of professional journalism. It was during her tenure that the publication went on to win its first statewide awards. She was a taskmaster and she urged many of her students to go on in journalism. Many did and a large number became editors of major American newspapers, some even winning Pulitzer Prizes for their work. Miss Headlee was known as being a stickler for accuracy. She served as adviser for 19 years, before stepping down in 1967, although she continued serving as an English professor at the college until retiring in 1976. Even after retirement she continued to keep in touch with her former students, and at her death in 2000 a great many wrote letters speaking of her devotion to journalism, to The Chart, and to her students.

Richard Massa became adviser to The Chart in 1972 after teaching at the University of Missouri, Mississippi State University for Women, Truman State University, and the University of Science and Arts for Oklahoma. Massa used his early time as adviser to The Chart to rebuild the staff and work on securing adequate funding. Through his leadership, the student staff was bringing in major awards within just a few years. Massa used the success of The Chart as seed for a new college department and in 1980 the Department of Communications was created, with Massa serving as department head, a title he held until his retirement in 1999. As department head he established a radio station and a television station and added four foreign languages to the three which were already being taught. Massa was also instrumental in developing the Institute of International Studies and served as its first director during his final three years at Missouri Southern.

Jack Brannan began his career in journalism in 1952 as a news reporter for the Joplin Globe and at Joplin Junior College where in his sophomore year, 1953-54, he was sports editor of The Chart under the discerning eye of Cleetis Headlee. He went on to major in journalism at the University of Tulsa while working as a reporter and sports writer for The Tulsa World and then, after two years in the U.S. Army, he joined the United Press International news agency. During 20 years as a UPI newsman, editor and management executive, Brannan was in Oklahoma City, then managed the Kansas City bureau and went from there to Washington, D.C., as a White House correspondent during the early months of the Johnson administration. Brannan’s next assignment was to UPI’s South American division headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beginning a four-year tour as a foreign correspondent that led him subsequently to Caracas as general manager and chief correspondent for Venezuela and the UPI’s Caribbean division. In 1969 he became assistant foreign news editor at UPI’s world headquarters in New York. He left UPI to join the New York Stock Exchange as its news bureau and media relations director, then later returned to journalism as a foreign news editor at the Los Angeles Times. In 1999, he was elected to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame where his citation notes that he was “one helluva newsman.”

Induction ceremonies will take place the evening of Saturday, Oct. 6 at Briarbrook Country Club in Carl Junction.