Tulane Alumni Association




Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 1998


Joe Stroud

Several years ago, Joe Hinton Stroud (G '59), the recently retired editor of the Detriot Free Press, had the opportunity to reflect on his graduate years at Tulane and the financial struggles he and his young family encountered while he pursued his educational goals.

"I've always considered [my] master's degree in history an asset of great value, and I've been proud that I hung on and completed that program," Stroud wrote in his editor's column. "It was good training to be an editor, though no one then, including me, saw the connection to what I'm doing now. I know it was a sacrifice to get it, but I was more respectful, reading those old records, of how much sacrifice those years entailed."

A native of Arkansas, Stroud received a bachelor of arts in history and political science from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., in 1957. Shortly thereafter, he came to Tulane on a scholarship intending to work toward a PhD in history. After receiving his master's degree, however, Stroud decided to pursue a professional career in journalism.

His first job was as a reporter for the Pine Bluff (Arkansas) Commercial. Then, from 1960 to 1964, Stroud worked at the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, and from 1964 to 1968, he was editorial writer and editorial page editor at the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel. He joined the Detroit Free Press in 1968 as an associate editor, and in 1973, he was appointed editor and senior vice president, a position he held until his retirement this year.

As editor for 25 years of one of the largest and most respected daily newspapers in the United States, Stroud was recognized time and again for his insight and journalistic excellence. He received the William Allen White Award for editorial excellence five times (1973-1980), the Overseas Press Club of America Citation (1974), the Paul Tobekin Award from Columbia University, a Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Women's Commission (1984) and the Detroit Press Club Foundation Award for Editorial-Opinion/Print (1990). He was also a finalist in the 1982 Pulitzer Prize competition and was awarded the Laity Award by the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1985.

In addition, Stroud has received honorary degrees from Eastern Michigan University (1977), Adrian College (1984), Kalamazoo College (1984), Central Michigan University (1986), Michigan State University (1987) and Olivet College. In 1978, he was named a distinguished alumnus of Hendrix College, and he has been elected to the Michigan Journalist Hall of Fame (1998).

In 1980, Stroud completed the American Management Association's business management program, and, a year later, he participated in the executive program at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Stroud is a former president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foudnation and the National Conference of Editorial Writers, and organization that has designated him a life member. His other professional affiliations have included the American Society of Newspaper Editors and Sigma Delta Chi.

Previously, Stroud served on the board of governors of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, including a term as chair, and the board of associates of Adrian College. He was also a trustee of the Cranbrook Educational Community and Starr Commonwealth Schools.

Stroud is married to Kathleen M. Fotjik and has five children, one of whom, Alexandra, is a 1991 graduate of the Tulane School of Architecture.

Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901