Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Joy t. bennett, JOUR '79

Joy Bennett

Whether she’s interviewing Will Smith, Barack Obama or Harry Belafonte, Joy T. Bennett continues to draw on the training she received as a journalism student in the late 1970s at Marquette. The senior editor of Ebony magazine remembers her time on campus with fondness.

“I was a sophomore at Marquette when the team won the championship,” she recalls. “It was a very heady and exciting time. And I was well prepared when I entered the workforce in 1979. I graduated in May and started working at the Battle Creek Enquirer and News in June.”

Bennett’s dean at the time was George Reedy, former press secretary to U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. “The faculty and administration at Marquette took the time to get to know their students on an individual level,” says Joy. “They encouraged my writing and always took an active interest in my career.”

With more than 27 years of newspaper and magazine journalism experience, Joy has covered everything from education to health care to politics to entertainment. She has raised awareness about breast cancer and other serious diseases through her reporting and used articles to bring attention to the inadequacy of relief for Hurricane Katrina victims. Her elucidating profiles have shed new light on veteran newsmakers as well as up-and-comers.

“I’m from Chicago, so I’ve known about Barack Obama for more than a decade,” says Joy. “I covered his campaign when he was running for the Illinois Senate. Recently, I teased him that his ‘overnight success’ has been 15 years in the making.”

Joy holds a master’s degree from Michigan State University and has served on Marquette’s J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board.

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