1946 – Head of IU Department of Journalism John E. Stempel launches the High School Journalism Institute.

1947 – On July 21, John E. Stempel hosts the first HSJI session, inviting future director of HSJI Gretchen A. Kemp. Forty-three high school students attended.

1948 – Gretchen A. Kemp attends the second HSJI session as its new director.

1954 – Ernie Pyle Hall officially opens, and it becomes the new home of HSJI with the Department of Journalism.


Head of IU Department of Journalism and HSJI founder John E. Stempel.
Portrait of first HSJI director Gretchen A. Kemp.

Gretchen A. Kemp, the first full-time director of the High School Journalism Institute, began her career as a high school teacher of English and journalism. She was dedicated to the development of journalism education and helped set the standards for how it should be taught in high school. She tracked down some of the best high school journalism teachers in the country to teach at HSJI, creating a unique and rich experience for those who attended. In 1987, the Gretchen A. Kemp Teaching Fellow award was established in her name, annually recognizing a professor who has demonstrated outstanding teaching throughout the year.


John "Jack" Dvorak, the third HSJI director

1986 – Mary Benedict retires after 13 years of service, and Professor Jack Dvorak takes over as the third director of HSJI.

1996 – HSJI celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Teresa White

HSJI has been a part of my life since 1979, when I attended the news writing workshop as a high school student. Little did I know then that I’d spend over 20 years teaching and eventually directing the workshop that has given me the opportunity to celebrate and nurture scholastic journalism.

Teresa White, HSJI director