Franklin D. Schurz Jr. Recognized for Excellence in News Media

Mr. Schurz was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Indiana University in 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont.Jan. 23, 2020  Franklin D. Schurz Jr. is a distinguished biographee of Marquis Who’s Who. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are chosen from among a pool of the most prominent professionals and are selected on the basis of current reference value.

Excelling in his career for more than 60 years, Mr. Schurz is currently retired, having attained the role of chairman emeritus of Schurz Communications, Inc., in 2007. First founded in 1872 as the South Bend Tribune, today Schurz Communications focuses on the technology of information sharing and making human and geographic connections happen on a global scale. Joining the South Bend Tribune as an executive assistant in 1956, he also held the roles of secretary, director, associate publisher, editor, publisher, executive vice president and president between 1970 and 1982, before the company’s name changed to Schurz Communications. The president and chairman of Schurz Communications from 1982 to 2006, he was also the treasurer from 1983 to 1989 and spent one final year as the chairman from 2006 to 2007 before attaining emeritus status.

Spending most of the first 25 years of his career in the newspaper business before making the transition to broadcasting and cable television, Mr. Schurz joined the Morning Herald and Daily Mail, now The Herald-Mail. Working as an assistant publisher in 1960 until 1962 before holding the roles of publisher from 1962 to 1970 and editor from 1966 to 1970. He also served as the past president of WDBJ Television, Inc., in Roanoke, VA; WAGT Television, Inc., in Augusta, GA; KY3, Inc., in Springfield, MO; and WASK, Inc., in Lafayette, IN.

Defining success as striving to accomplish one’s goals or objectives combined with hard work and some luck, Mr. Schurz is incredibly grateful for all the people he worked with over the course of his career. He considers putting together a good team to be one of the key things that has led to his success. They were top grade professionals, and they all were the best he could have asked for.

Since 1996, he has been a foundation honorary trustee of Alliance for Women in Media (formerly known as American Women in Radio and Television). He previously served on the board of directors for MSTV, C-SPAN, the American Press Institute, the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, the Southern Production Plan, and the Riverside Press Enterprise. Mr. Schurz is also a past president of the Hoosier State Press Association and the Institute of Newspaper Controllers and Finance Officers. He was a member of the American Society of News Editors, the National Press Club, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Becoming involved in his profession due to the influence of his family, Mr. Schurz had several relatives who were involved in the newspaper industry as editors and publishers. By the time he was 15 years old, he started working summers in various newspaper departments. Embarking on his education at Harvard University, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1952 and a Master of Business Administration in 1956. He later completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in 1984. In 2015, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Indiana University Bloomington. During his time in Maryland, he also found incredible mentorship from former Maryland governor William Preston Lane Jr.

Mr. Schurz has created a donor advised fund titled Opportunity Scholars. Through this fund, he helps provide endowed scholarships for struggling and underrepresented students. The fund currently supports 110 students yearly. He would advise these students to remain focused, have goals and to know the direction in which they are headed.

Furthermore, Mr. Schurz previously served as a campaign chair with both United Way of Washington County and United Way of St. Joseph County. He has been environmentally active as the chair of the board of trustees for the Indiana chapter of the Nature Conservancy and on the board of visitors of the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington, where he has also served on the President’s Council. On the advisory board for Indiana University South Bend, he was also involved with the University of Notre Dame as chair of the advisory council for the College of Arts and Letters and with St. Mary’s College on the board of regents.

Spending one decade in the U.S. Army Reserves Artillery, Mr. Schurz has also dedicated time to the Culver Military Academy Education Foundation. He spent time in leadership roles with the Indiana Arts Commission, the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Endowment for Educational Excellence, Inc. between 1979 and 1990. His more recent endeavors include serving as a trustee of the Culver Educational Foundation and on the board of trustees of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in 2017. Since 2018, he has been an elder at the Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, MT.

First recognized with the Presidential Award of Merit from the National Newspaper Association in 1965, Mr. Schurz was later presented with the Frank Rogers Award from the Rotary Club of South Bend in 1980. He also received the AWRT Achievement Award from the Alliance for Women in Media, the Lifetime Achievement Silver Award from the Michiana Ad Club, the Chuck Sherman Television Leadership Award from the National Association of Broadcasters and the Casey Award from the University of Minnesota.

Born to Franklin Dunn Schurz Sr. and Martha Montgomery, Mr. Schurz has been happily married to Bethany Marie Lark for many years. He is the proud father to nine stepchildren and grandfather to 21 step-grandchildren. Looking toward the future, he intends to work to help others, particularly the younger members of his family. He enjoys the outdoors, wildlife bird hunting, philanthropy, golf and fly fishing, through which he has involved himself with the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Anglers’ Club of New York. Mr. Schurz hopes that he will be remembered as someone who helped others, particularly the underrepresented students he has helped to obtain scholarships. 

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