Happy Birthday to The Skiff: Celebrating 120 years of Student Journalism

The front page of the second edition of the Skiff newspaper from 1920.

The Skiff Vol. 1 No. 2

On Sept. 19, 1902, the first edition of TCU’s The Skiff, the student-run newspaper, was released in Waco, the original site of TCU. Ed S. McKinney ’04 founded the newspaper as a student. He named it the ‘Skiff’ in the hopes of providing him the funds “to sail through the financial weather” and get his degree from TCU. Each edition of the Skiff included McKinney’s motto, “Rowing, Not Drifting.”

Over the past 120 years, The Skiff has updated and changed. The paper started as a four-page, four-column paper with a subscription rate of fifty cents per year until 1906, when the pages were enlarged to five columns, and the rate was raised to a dollar per year. The Skiff provided reasoning for a degree in journalism, and in 1927, the Journalism Department was founded. A year later, the department took The Skiff under its wing. In 1958, the newspaper began publishing twice weekly and became a daily publication, Tuesday through Friday, in 1971.

Today, The Skiff, in conjunction with TCU360.com, Image magazine and a host of podcasts and recorded shows, makes up student media at TCU. The Skiff is a weekly newspaper released most Thursdays throughout the academic year. Printed copies are available on campus, and digital versions are available on the TCU 360 website. TCU 360 is the news website for student journalists, with the motto “All TCU. All the time.” TCU Student Media has a long-standing history with the Journalism Department, although students across campus are welcome to get involved with TCU Student Media regardless of major.

A logo for TCU Skiff showing a small horned frog wearing a fedora and carrying reporters notepad.

An early logo from The Skiff

The Skiff Fun Facts

  • The TCU Skiff is the longest running continuously published newspaper in Tarrant County.
  • In 1906, The Skiff had a circulation of 2,000 copies a month.
  • During his time at TCU, Bob Schieffer ’59 was the sports editor while he gained a B.A. in Journalism and English.
  • The Skiff has been a member of the Associated Press since 1963.
  • Almost every volume and number of The Skiff can be found in the TCU Archives.
  • Over 120 years, The Skiff has won many awards including the Associated Press Managing Editors’ best student newspaper in Texas, the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association sweepstakes and the All-American Award.

Join us in celebrating 120 years of TCU Student Media from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, in Moudy South 212. RSVP at go.tcu360.com/120YearsOfSkiff.

Join us to celebrate 120 years of TCU student media. Sept. 19, 2022. 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Student Media Newsroom, Moudy South 212, 2805 S. university drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76129.