J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication Award Recipients
Journalism By-Line Award
DANIEL N. PATRINOS, JOUR '58
Dan Patrinos’ first foray into journalism came during his days at Gesu Grade School, when he worked as a sports writer for a local Catholic Youth Organization newsletter. “Most impressive for a kid was taking the scores, written into full sentences, down to Hearst’s Milwaukee Sentinel, actually handing my report to the paper’s sports editor and then seeing it in the next day’s edition — in agate type,” he recalls.
Over the decades, Dan’s journalism made an indelible stamp in the Milwaukee community, as he served as editor of Milwaukee Engineering Magazine; as a reporter, an editor and a manager for the Milwaukee Sentinel; and as the first editor of JSOnline, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s website.
“Journalism was an adventure: Every day was different, every day a surprise,” he says. “Meeting people — the high-rollers, the poor, the criminal, the saints, pillars of the community, working people, scientists, pols, starlets, cops — under every imaginable circumstance — in research labs, in court, under arrest, on the street marching for civil rights, protesting war, witnessing fires, circus parades and a moon landing – all of that was interesting and important for a journalist to cover. I did this for 45 years because that’s what a journalist does.”
Dan left Journal Communications to become managing editor for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s website, which he transformed into an award-winning site.
“I used to tell my friends at the medical school that I came from a newspaper background, where we had as many as four deadlines a night, to academia, where we had only one a semester,” he says.
Now retired, he stays busy as an advisory board member of the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Diederich College of Communication. An avid photographer, he has exhibited at Milwaukee’s City Hall and the Wilson Center for the Arts, among other venues, and as a member of the Coalition of Photographic Arts. He’s also active at Saint John’s On The Lake, where he lives and serves as co-chair of the LifeStreams Support Committee and as a member of the Saint John’s Resident Council. “I’m retired, but the spirit of journalism is still with me,” he says. “One of my motivating goals is helping to bring about a sense of community among residents, just as journalism at its best creates understanding and empathy for others.”
Favorite book: “My favorite book is the one I’m reading at the moment. I very much like Bill Bryson’s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir and Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America.”
Dream dinner guests: “First lady Michelle Obama and Bill Keller of The New York Times. Actually, I’d like to get them to Saint John’s — and invite the media.”
Marquette member who had an impact: “Jeremiah L. O’Sullivan, College of Journalism dean, who urged student reporters to consider the social impact of public events. About three years after I had graduated, and only one year working as a newspaper reporter, I got a call from the dean thanking me for a front-page story I had done on a civil rights issue. As a cub reporter, that meant a great deal to me and was very encouraging.”
Favorite Marquette memory: “Dean O’Sullivan’s laugh, kind of like a series of quick snorts, that could be heard throughout all three floors of Copus Hall.”
Career he aspired to in grade school: “While I had more enthusiasm for the future than being able to see it, I dabbled in ‘journalism’ as a sports writer for a Catholic Youth Organization newsletter edited by a parish member who was a copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal. … Coincidentally, I attended Gesu Grade School, which was directly across the street from Copus Hall, never knowing what went on behind its bright red door. Gesu School is now nothing more than a tombstone plaque marking its spot on the Marquette campus.”
Marquette legacy: “My brother Jerry graduated from Marquette with a major in history.”
Most influential person: “My wife, Kay, also a Marquette journalism graduate.”
People who excite him most about the future: “Our children and grandchildren.”