Chuck Burke, senior editor/designer and chief typographer at the Chicago Tribune, has been named 2012 Alumnus of the Year by the Eastern Illinois University journalism department.
Burke, a 1998 EIU journalism graduate, is being honored this weekend in conjunction with the university’s homecoming.
Before joining the Tribune, Burke worked in California at the San Jose Mercury News, in northwest Indiana at The Times and in Chicago’s south suburbs at Star Newspapers, a predecessor of the Southtown Star. He was editor-in-chief of The Daily Eastern News for fall semester 1998.
According to James Tidwell, chair of the EIU journalism department, recipients of the alumni award must:
• be a graduate of EIU with a journalism major or with significant media experience during their collegiate days;
• have attained professional experience and a positive reputation in the field; and
• have continued to support the journalism department or student media programs following graduation.
“Without question, Chuck Burke meets all the criteria,” Tidwell said. “He has a national reputation in newspaper design circles and has a leadership role in the design, editing and presentation of the Tribune.”
Tidwell also said Burke has returned to campus many times to speak to classes and student groups.
“In Spring 2011, he hosted a half-day workshop in the Tribune newsroom for our Advanced Publication Design class,” Tidwell said. “The students absolutely loved the experience. We really appreciate Chuck’s willingness to share his expertise with our students.”
Sally Renaud, chair of the department’s Outreach Committee, said Burke’s commitment to his profession and to sharing it with high school and college-age students has been exceptional.
“He represents our department and our field so well,” she said. “From presenting sessions at high school conferences throughout the state to talks to Eastern’s Student Publications staffs, Chuck has been the perfect ambassador for our department and for journalism.”