Building dedication marks new chapter for Stanford Daily

L.A. Cicero Torres and Lokey

Senior Christian Torres, editor-in-chief of the Stanford Daily, presented Lorry Lokey with a framed front page of the issue published the day after Lokey was elected editor-in-chief of the student newspaper in 1949.

L.A. Cicero Keller and Taubman

The Stanford Daily presented New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, right, in conversation with Phil Taubman, left at Kresge Auditorium.

L.A. Cicero Daily

At the dedication of the Stanford Daily Building Marilyn Valentino, Mike Roster, Kirk Hanson and Bill Evers looked over bound copies of the Stanford Daily from the years they wrote for the paper.

A celebration was held April 2 to mark the completion of construction on the Stanford Daily's new home, a two-story building that provides the student newspaper with a modern space to carry on the tradition of chronicling campus life.

The Lorry I. Lokey Stanford Daily Building features a sleekly appointed newsroom upstairs and a conference room and business offices downstairs. With its stylish staircase and many windows, the building exudes a feel akin to that of an airy urban office loft.

Its overall design stands in stark contrast to the Daily's former home, the Storke Publications Building—a dank, decades-old structure just off Lomita Mall that demolition crews recently reduced to rubble.

Those in attendance at last week's dedication included Daily alumni stretching back to the 1940s, as well as some of the more than 500 donors who made the new building possible. Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman gave opening and closing remarks at the afternoon ceremony, while Provost John Etchemendy spoke about the Daily's history at Stanford and its importance as a free and unfettered voice at the university.

"During the paper's 117 years, the Daily's committed student writers and editors have provoked us, encouraged us, chastised us, praised us and, yes, occasionally, annoyed us," Etchemendy said. "But through it all, the Daily has been a vital cog in this machine that we call Stanford."

He went on to recount the wide range of events that the Daily has reported on over the years, from Big Game victories and student demonstrations and protests to, most recently, university budget cuts and a student imposter. It was the Daily that first broke the story about Azia Kim, the young woman from Southern California who pretended to be a Stanford student and lived in various dorms on campus for much of the 2006-07 academic year.

Etchemendy also mentioned the historic case Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, which went before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978. In that case, the paper, under the leadership of then-editor-in-chief Felicity Barringer—who now covers environmental news for the New York Times—argued that police unlawfully searched its newsroom for photographs of a protest on campus in 1971. Though the Daily did not prevail in the Supreme Court, the dispute eventually led to the creation of shield laws protecting news organizations from speculative police searches.

Boardman acknowledged how much of a tradition the Daily is to Stanford as well, citing the paper's inception in 1892, and its establishment as a student-owned business in 1973. Standing beside the publication's new home, at the corner of Duena Street and Panama Mall, Boardman spoke of how symbolic it is that the Daily's staff occupy a building in the heart of campus.

"They report the events of Stanford, they represent the reflections and thoughts of our students," Boardman said. "They strive to act with the highest ethics in everything they do, and it often serves as a training ground for aspiring journalists."

Many of Lokey's formative years were steeped in journalism. While in the military, he wrote and edited for the Pacific Stars & Stripes, and during his senior year at Stanford, he was editor-in-chief of the Daily. He graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and went on to work as night wire editor for the United Press (now UPI) in Portland.

In 1961, Lokey founded the press-release distribution service Business Wire, which is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway and includes approximately 30 offices around the world. A prominent philanthropist, Lokey has donated more than $400 million—with the vast majority of the money going to universities in the Bay Area and in his home state of Oregon, as well as to several schools in Israel.

At Stanford, the building that houses biology and chemistry laboratories was made possible by Lokey. And like the new home for the Daily, the stem cell research center now being built at the Medical Center also will carry his name.

"The Daily was the beginning of the first really big crossroads in my life," Lokey told those in attendance for the dedication and open house that followed. "Now, how can I stand by and not be a major donor if something literally set me up for the rest of my life. That's how I feel about the Daily."

Christian Torres, the Daily's current editor-in-chief, spoke on behalf of his team and acknowledged the burden that now rests on the publication as it begins its next chapter.

"This building gives us the space to work on our skills as journalists, as editors, photographers, graphic artists, web developers and businessmen and -women," said Torres, a senior majoring in human biology with a concentration in neuroscience and psychology. "The weight of this occasion is only matched by the weight of the Daily itself—whether it's in the bound volumes upstairs, the virtual weight online or in your hands each day."