The Indiana High School Press Association was founded in 1922 by two Franklin College students who wanted to help high school students produce high school publications.
The organization continues to provide resources for high school publication advisers and students in addition to signature events including a convention at Franklin College each October and a First Amendment Symposium at the Indiana Statehouse each March.
IHSPA core values are: Truth, Freedom, Courage and Integrity.
For more information about IHSPA structure and operations, download the association’s constitution.
95 Years of Excellence in Service To Scholastic Journalism
This page is dedicated to the rich history of the Indiana High School Press Association since its inception in 1922. Fortunately, the strong leadership over the years means there are lots of convention programs, newspapers and even special publications commemorating special 25th, 50th and 75th birthdays of this special organization. We will continue to add content to this page and encourage advisers to contribute mementos to this page.
75th Anniversary Calendar
Click here to see a special calendar commemorating the IHSPA’s 75th birthday. Note: This may take a few additional seconds to load.
75th Anniversary Magazine
Click here to see how two Franklin College students founded the IHSPA in 1922 and how, 75 years later, that same organization would use a generous endowment from Eugene Pulliam to grow into one of the strongest scholastic journalism organizations in the country. Stories from Harvey Jacobs, Diana Hadley, Norma Thiele, Jim Ray, Louis Ingelhart and others paint a vivid picture of the IHSPA’s rich history and goals for the future.
50 Years of the IHSPA (Magazine)
In 1922, Franklin College editors Raymond Blackwell and William Bridges looked for ways to help communicate journalistic opportunities to high schools. On Oct. 28, 1922, that search resulted in the state’s first journalism convention that attracted 200 students. Fifty years later, the IHSPA had grown into one of the strong scholastic press organizations in the country. Click here to see a magazine dedicated to how the IHSPA thrived in its first five decades.
IHSPA: The First 20 Years
Ella Sengenberger, Arsenal Tech adviser and the first president of the IHSPA, wrote the first history of the organization. Titled “The First 20 Years,” Sengenberger documented early conventions including the new “Advisers Division” that formed in 1932. Up until that time, the IHSPA was comprised of a Student Division only. You can read this fascinating and highly detailed account of the first two decades of the organization at this link: First 25 Years.
Convention Program, 1924
The Third Annual Convention of the IHSPA took place on the Franklin College campus on Oct. 24-25, 1924. In those days, the convention began on Friday and ended with an FC football game on Saturday afternoon. R. E. Blackwell is listed in the program as the “executive secretary.” Blackwell was one of two FC students who founded the IHSPA. The “adviser division” was not added until later. The first convention in 1922 drew more than 250 students.
Convention Program, 1936
The 15th annual convention in 1936 was a three-day gathering of students, advisers and professional journalists at Franklin College. Workshop sessions were evenly divided between yearbook and newspaper. This convention even featured a writing contest. The convention concluded on Saturday, Oct. 24 with an address from Stephen C. Noland, editor of the Indianapolis News, who titled his remarks, “The Future of Journalism.” See the full program by clicking HERE or on the image below.
The Daily Echo (Sept. 26, 1898)
In 1898, Shortridge High School established a daily newspaper,The Shortridge Daily Echo. It was the first daily high-school newspaper in the entire country. It continued its daily status until the 1970s, when it was converted to a weekly publication. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Donald Ring Mellett are two notable alumni who served as editors of the Echo. The paper won many awards over the years. In its final year, the necessarily-brief Echo was still able to win a second place overall award by the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association. Michael N. Selby and Edie Cassell were the last co-editors-in-chief, and Chris Keys was the last sports editor of the Shortridge Weekly Echo when it ceased publication with the school’s closure in 1981. However, this was not the Echo‘s last call. When Shortridge was re-opened as a Magnet High School in 2009, students brought back the Echo as well, published weekly.