Compelling. Credible. Relevant.
For almost 50 years, principles such as these guided Phil Currie’s work as a journalist. From his early days as editor of the University of Iowa’s student newspaper to his role as senior vice president/news for Gannett Co., Inc., the largest newspaper group in America, Phil knew what it took to inspire readers and make a difference.
Today, Phil has found inspiration in the Newseum and will make a difference with his legacy gift to the Newseum.
“Because I have been a journalist all my life, I find the Newseum significant and moving, reinforcing almost 50 years in the field for me,” Phil said. “At the Newseum, you get a sense of the role journalism has played in our history. It isn’t just about our profession. It’s about history; the way things were reported. The back and forth of journalists had an impact on what happened.”
With a tour of one of his favorite galleries, the Pulitzer Prize Photographs, Phil can trace and recall his five memorable decades in journalism. He points to the crumpled antenna from the World Trade Center in the 9/11 Gallery and the massive paint-splattered Berlin Wall and guard tower as other compelling, credible and relevant experiences for any Newseum visitor. And in the News Corporation News History Gallery, with its hundreds of headlines and stories of famous events, he sees that first draft of history.
He also praises the many live programs dealing with contemporary issues of the media. The “Inside Media” series, featuring conversations with leading news anchors, working journalists and modern authors, is one of many programs where the public and the press connect.
Phil was an early supporter of the Newseum, and that relationship grew quickly. As one of the first members of the Friends of the First Amendment Society — naming a seat in memory of one of his early editors, John L. Dougherty — Phil liked what he saw at the Newseum and increased his giving. He and his wife, Joan, became Newseum Patrons with a generous gift supporting the “Power of the Image” film narrated by Walter Cronkite, “in tribute to the photojournalists who tell the nation’s visual story.”
Today, Phil is among the first members of the Newseum’s Legacy Society, which acknowledges the generosity of those who have chosen to remember the Newseum in their wills or through another type of bequest. “For me, this is one last ‘thank you’ for all that has been done through the First Amendment,” he said. “An understanding that a free press has been a huge part of history and understanding what’s happening in our democracy is important.
“The Newseum can be one of the strongest institutions we have to convey the importance of democracy and freedom of press,” he said. “If people are looking for a place for lasting support and impact, the Newseum is the place.”
For more information about planned giving, please contact Emily Nicholson, senior director/development, at 202/292-6282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.