February 14, 2012


The news event of the opening day in the quarter is the appearance of The Daily Maroon. As the first copies leave the presses in the new building of the University Press, the editors and business staff express the belief that with this issue the founding of a student paper is accomplished; and that long after they are gray-headed alumni The Daily Maroon will appear every afternoon and be always new and filled with bright U of C news.

This is assured if the students will patronize our advertisers and if they will subscribe to the paper. From hundreds of expressions of interest, the founders are confident the students generally will give all the support desired.

The movement for the founding of the paper started last fall when the managing editor and business manager held similar positions on The University of Chicago Weekly. Together they submitted to President Harper suggestions in reference to the establishment of a daily newspaper and a monthly literary magazine to take the place of the Weekly.

Some schedule of business management to ensure stability was the imperative demand. The managing editor suggested official University management as in the athletics, and the business manager suggested a subsidy from the University.

The net result was a faculty discussion which crystallized the sentiment that the University must not in any way subsidize the student daily, that the paper must be a self-supporting student activity.

At the end of the winter quarter last year, nine men joined with the present managing editor and decided that they would undertake the financial and editorial responsibility for publishing a daily during one year, provided the students would give them the authority, successive boards chosen in open competition to assume the responsibility annually.

The ten were Messrs. Fleming, McLaury, Collins, Ford, Henry, Wyman, McNair, Tische, J.F. Adams, and Steward.

They announced a mass meeting to be held May 15, “for the organization of a new student activity.” This announcement aroused considerable curiosity. The object of the meeting was explained to the Class of 1902, and the class unanimously adopted a resolution of support for the movement.

In the meantime, Mr. Moon had also been working on plans for the starting of a daily and had associated himself with Messrs. Conrad and Brode in a stock company for the development of the Weekly into a daily and monthly.

The day before the mass meeting President Harper called Mr. Fleming and Mr. Moon to his office and said, “Get together, gentlemen.” The obstacle was the fact that Mr. Moon owned the Weekly and had quite a sum invested.

It was known that Mr. Fesler, secretary of the Alumni Association, had in mind a plan for alumni business responsibility for the proposed publications. He was appealed to and expressed the belief that the association would purchase the Weekly from Mr. Moon. The result was that at the mass meeting, a resolution asking the alumni to purchase the paper was adopted.

The ten men named, with Messrs. Keehn and E.P. Gale added to the list, were authorized to be the editors of the proposed daily and monthly for one year, and Mr. Moon was recommended for business manager, this action being taken at a meeting which crowded Kent Theater.

Opposition to the plan developed among the alumni. Finally, during the summer, a committee of 15, appointed on Alumni Day, was about to send out an adverse report. With Henry Gale, ’96, of the committee, acting as adviser, the managing editor representing the editors and Mr. Moon came to a compromise agreement, and Mr. Moon withdrew his proposition to the alumni.

The agreement provides for an equal division of the financial responsibility between the business manager and the combined editorial boards. It provides specifically that all subsequent boards of editors shall be selected in competition open to all students. This board, through an auditing committee, has insight into the books, and elects the business manager, the retiring manager nominating. By this means the paper is to be a self-supporting student activity.

There have been two student dailies and one tri-weekly in the history of the University.

The University News was started October 17, 1892 and ran almost through the first year of the University, suspending publication April 19, 1893.

The tri-weekly was called The Maroon. It first appeared May 15, 1895 and was discontinued March 20, 1896.

The third effort took place in the spring of 1900 when a paper named The Daily Maroon was published from May 12 to June 23.

In every case, these papers were discontinued because of inadequate business management.

The present editors and business managers are not at all afraid of the name they have chosen. Because the University is now so large, and because on both business and editorial sides the paper has been carefully and comprehensively organized, the founders are confident that The Daily Maroon will last.