Student Life alumni celebrate 125 years of publishing

Student Life, the 125 year-old independent student newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis, will be celebrating that milestone with a reunion Sept. 12-14.

Expected to attend and speak are former Student Life writers Michael Isikoff (A&S ’74), investigative reporter for Newsweek magazine who broke the Monica Lewinsky story in 1998; Ken Cooper (A&S ’77), national editor for The Boston Globe; and Mike Peters (A&S ’65), creator of the “Mother Goose and Grimm” comic strip.

Founded in January 1878, Student Life is one of the country’s oldest college newspapers and is the oldest continually run newspaper in St. Louis. Its board of directors includes Isikoff and Cooper, as well as Jeff Leen, investigative editor at The Washington Post and James T. Madore (A&S ’87), media writer at Newsday , among others.

The reunion will begin Sept. 12 with a reception and multimedia presentation on the 125-year history of Student Life.

On Sept. 13 at noon a panel discussion will focus on how the media is expected to cover major events over the coming year, with special attention to the presidential election and the ongoing war on terrorism.

That discussion will include Isikoff, Cooper and Madore and will be moderated by Laura Meckler (A&S ’90), a national staff reporter for the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., who chairs the reunion planning committee.

That evening Peters will address a dinner celebrating Student Life‘s anniversary. Other reunion events include campus tours, a reception in the Student Life office and a softball game. The first annual Gregory Freeman Award for Excellence in Journalism will be awarded to a current Student Life staff member.

For more information on the event, see

Ken Cooper is national editor of The Boston Globe, New England’s leading daily newspaper. Until 2000, he was with The Washington Post, having served as a national education writer and the South Asia Bureau chief. He covered India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka from 1996-1999. He won a 1999 South Asian Journalists Association Journalism Award for his March 1998 report on the Taliban’s spiritual roots in Deoband, India.

Cooper joined The Post in 1989 as a reporter covering education and Congress for national news.

While working at The Boston Globe in 1984, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for special local reporting on a series about racism in Boston, “The Race Factor.” His contributions to the 13-part series examined affirmative action at private colleges in the Boston area and compared race relations in the city to those of Philadelphia and Miami.

Michael Isikoff joined Newsweek as an investigative correspondent in June 1994. He has covered the Whitewater scandal, the Oklahoma City bombing, campaign finance abuses, presidential politics and other national issues. He has been a news analyst for MSNBC and a frequent guest on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” PBS’s “Charlie Rose,” and nationally-syndicated radio talk shows.

Isikoff’s exclusive reporting on the Monica Lewinsky scandal gained him national attention in 1998, including profiles in The New York Times and The Washington Post and a guest appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman.” His coverage of the events that lead to President Clinton’s impeachment earned Newsweek the prestigious National Magazine Award in the Reporting category in 1999. Isikoff’s reporting also won the National Headliner Award, the Edgar A. Poe Award presented by the White House Correspondents Association and the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Reporting on the Presidency.

Isikoff is the author of Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story, a book that chronicled his own reporting of the Lewinsky story and was hailed by a critic for The Washington Post-Los Angeles Times news service as “the absolutely essential narrative of the scandal with revelations that no one would have thought possible.” The book was an instant New York Times bestseller.

Isikoff has been honored with a number of prestigious awards. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1991 for a story on gun-trafficking and violence. He also won the Baltimore-Washington Newspaper Guild “Story of the Year” award in 1984 for a series on coal mining disasters in Virginia.

James T. Madore is a media writer at Newsday. Previously, he covered retailing and the economy for the Long Island Daily. Madore has been a business reporter for the last 15 years, also working at the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times and The Buffalo News.

Last year, Madore completed a two-year term as president of the Alumni Association of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The group – which represents 8,000 graduates – publishes a newsletter; organizes panel discussions; runs a mentor program; and gives awards annually to distinguished alumni. Madore holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mike Peters‘ editorial cartoons appear in more than 400 newspapers and publications worldwide, including Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report. “Mother Goose and Grimm,” a comic strip Peters created in 1984, now appears in more than 800 newspapers worldwide, and is consistently placed in the top 10 most popular comic strip ratings.

Peters began his career at the Chicago Daily News in 1965, and after only one year, he left to serve with the U.S. Army. In 1969, Peters began working at the Dayton Daily News. By 1972, his editorial cartoons were syndicated nationally and in 1981, he earned a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism.

In 1991, the “Mother Goose and Grimm” comic strip was introduced to millions of views as “Grimmy,” a weekly Saturday morning animated television series on CBS. Peters has created over 30 books featuring “Mother Goose and Grimm” cartoons, including political compilations such as “The Nixon Chronicles” (1976) and “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1991). In addition, Peters created the first animated editorial cartoon in 1991; called “Peters Postscripts,” they appear regularly on NBC’s “Nightly News.”

Besides the Pulitzer Prize, Peters’ many honors and awards include eight Ohio Associated Press Awards, three Overseas Press Citations, the Overseas Press Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University.