Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication named its new center for sports media after Claire Smith, a 1979 journalism alumna who was the first woman and first Black woman assigned to a full-time Major League Baseball beat, according to a press release Wednesday.
“The Claire Smith Center will prepare Temple students for the fast-changing world of sports media,” wrote Dean David Boardman in the release. “Giving them a solid foundation in the values personified by Claire: ethics, integrity and excellence.”
Smith will serve as co-director of the center alongside John DiCarlo, managing director of student media at the Klein College, according to the release.
Klein College also named former Philadelphia 76ers announcer Marc Zumoff, a 1992 journalism alumnus, as the associate director of the center.
The center is still receiving donations to launch other programs, like seminars, speaker series and an official website, but students can begin the Sports Media Certificate, which will be a part of what the center focuses on, DiCarlo said.
The program will serve as a teaching, training and research center for areas of sports journalism, advertising, public relations and production, while also addressing barriers of gender and race in sports media, according to the release.
Klein College raised $1 million throughout June to establish the center. The largest donation was a $350,000 gift that came jointly from MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, according to the release.
“Smith is the embodiment of excellence, integrity and professionalism,” wrote MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in the release. “She is the perfect person to name a program after for generations of students to emulate. Major League Baseball is honored to support the Claire Smith Center for Sports Media to help educate a diverse student body to follow the outstanding example of a true trailblazer.”
Smith covered the New York Yankees for The Hartford Courant in the mid-1980s, and then went on to work at The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer before joining ESPN in 2007.
She is the only woman to receive the Baseball Writers Association of America Career Excellence Award and sportswriter to be honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“With Claire Smith, Marc Zumoff and the outstanding faculty members who are already teaching sports media at Klein, our students will have unparalleled opportunities to learn, and to become the Claire Smiths and Marc Zumoffs of the future,” Boardman wrote.