J. William and Mary Diederich
College of Communication
Journalism By-Line Award
Jay P. McGill, Jour '76
Long after graduating from Marquette, Jay McGill is still studying journalism.
A senior vice president at Hearst Magazines, Jay has held 11 different positions during his 30-plus years with the company. He started as an advertising representative for Popular Mechanics, worked his way up to publisher, did stints as publisher of magazines as diverse as Country Living, Sports Afield, Motor Boating & Sailing, and Smart Money, and now oversees Hearst's international publishing efforts.
"Each one of those jobs had a different set of challenges and opportunities," he says. "It forced me to become a student of media, learning the printed word's role in information dissemination, entertainment and commerce. I feel I learn something new every day."
He also covers a lot of new ground. "I work with people throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa," he says. In the past year, "Russia, Ukraine and South Africa have been added to my list of countries."
Jay entered Marquette as an engineering major, but "advanced calculus and Fortran convinced me that wasn't the path I wanted to take." He switched to journalism and marketing but couldn't land the agency job he wanted after graduation. Instead, he sold retail ads for a newspaper chain and has been in publishing ever since.
"Without the academic flexibility I was exposed to at Marquette, I may have ended up as a character on Mad Men," he says.
To help others find their path, he has established the Jay McGill Scholarship in Media Management at Marquette.
Fun facts about Jay
What he wanted to be in grade school: A mailman because they walked and he was afraid he’d get lost if he drove for a living