WMU News

Jack Moss to receive honorary degree

October 30, 1998

DETROIT -- Jack Moss, longtime sports editor for the Kalamazoo Gazette, will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree from Western Michigan University during December commencement ceremonies.

The degree, approved Oct. 30 by the WMU Board of Trustees, is being bestowed in recognition of Moss' 50 years of dedicated service to athletics and the Kalamazoo community.

The 71-year-old veteran reporter, columnist and editor joined the Kalamazoo Gazette in 1948 as a sports writer and was named sports editor in 1967. Over the years he has become one of the newspaper's most prolific and well-read writers.

Moss, a Kalamazoo native, began his newspaper career while a senior at WMU's State High School. A basketball player, he wrote free-lance stories about State High teams for the Gazette. In 1945 he enrolled at WMU and began working for the paper part time. He left college three years later to join the staff full time. Since then, his career has been interrupted only by a two-year stint in the Army from 1950 to 1952.

After half a century with the Gazette, Moss has no thoughts of retiring. He arrives at the office before dawn each day to put together the paper's sports section, writes six columns a week and often works late into the night covering local, state and national athletic events.

The dean of Michigan sports editors, he is a walking almanac of sports statistics and maintains an impressive list of contacts locally and across the country. His expertise, wit and sharp memory have helped make him one of the area's most popular personalities and busiest toastmasters.

Moss also is known as a giving professional and community volunteer. He founded the Mid-American Conference News Media Association, serving as its first president, and has been on the board of the Michigan Associated Press Sports Editors Association.

His community activities have included service with the Kalamazoo Center for Independent Living, Kalamazoo Wheelchair Athletic Association and a variety of other organizations, including the Optimists and Elks.

Community members held a tribute dinner in his honor in 1984 that resulted in creation of the Jack Moss Scholarship Fund, which helps student-athletes with their college costs. The event drew more than 600 people, including veteran University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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