The Student Press Law Center announced Jan. 23 the successful completion of its three-year campaign to help ensure the future of student press freedom. Thanks to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and student free press supporters across the country, the SPLC has established an endowment fund to help protect student First Amendment rights long into the future. When all pledges are received, theendowment fund will total over $3.75 million.
SPLC View: For those who can remember the early days of the SPLC, the success of our endowment campaign seems like a dream. For much of the Center’s 32-year history, our existence was determined year-to-year. As late as 1986, our staff was a single employee and a couple unpaid interns. Today, the Center is still a lean operation with a full-time staff of four, a publication fellow, a West Coast-based legal consultant and, of course, our awesome interns. With that staff, each year we respond to over 2,500 requests for legal help, produce over 20 publications and speak at over 50 workshops and conventions. Our ever-growing Web site recorded over 5.5 million page views in 2006. In short, we have never been busier and the need for the SPLC has never been stronger. The climate for free speech and a free press in our nation’s schools is beingchallenged as never before. We still have fundraising challenges ahead of us— the endowment will only cover a portion of our operating expenses. But thanks to all of you — our loyal members — and the hundreds of other generous donors that helped us establish our endowment fund, the SPLC will be around to help students defend press freedom for many years to come. We are so very grateful.