Dennis Lang, the late managing editor of The Lawton Constitution, loved the news. An advocate of excellence in journalism, Lang's legacy will touch generations of future newspaper journalists thanks to the Dennis Lang Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Journalism, established today at Cameron University. Following Lang's 2007 death, his family and friends decided to honor his memory by creating the endowment. CU President Cindy Ross accepted the $10,587 endowment from donor representative David B. Hale, current managing editor of The Lawton Constitution, who was joined by members of Lang's family.
"A true newsman in every sense of the word, Dennis Lang was an ardent supporter of Cameron's journalism students," said Ross. "His impact in the world of news writing and editing is felt not only throughout the state of Oklahoma but across the country due to the mentoring he offered to so many aspiring journalists who are now working in that profession. We are honored that his friends and family have chosen Cameron University as the home for an endowed scholarship in his memory."
"Many current and former Constitution journalists are grateful for the opportunity, training and guidance that Dennis provided to us," Hale said. "After his illness forced him to retire, we decided that the best way to honor him was with Cameron's first newspaper journalism scholarship. Now through this scholarship, he will continue to train and guide future generations of southwest Oklahoma journalists at Cameron University."
The Dennis Lang Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Journalism will be awarded to full-time CU students who are pursuing a course of studies in newspaper journalism. One scholarship will be awarded annually. Recipients must be juniors or seniors seeking a degree in Communication with a concentration in Journalism or its equivalent and must have a GPA or 2.5 or better to receive the scholarship for the first semester of the award. The scholarship may be retained for up to four semesters if the recipient remains a full-time student, maintains a 2.5 GPA and makes satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
After receiving a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, Dennis Lang joined the Lawton Constitution as a reporter in 1974. He became an editor in 1979 and was named Managing Editor in 1983, a post he held until his medical retirement in 2004. During his tenure, he was an avid Cameron supporter who opened up his newsroom to CU student interns and, confident in the quality education CU students received, hired numerous Cameron graduates. He was always on hand to mentor his young employees, whether they were answering the phone on the night shift or covering front-page news.
Lang was a member of and served as president of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives board of directors and was a member of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, American Society of Newspaper Editors and Oklahoma Press Association.
In addition to his professional accomplishment, Lang was a civic leader. He served as publicity chair for the Mayor's Centennial Task Force, chairman of the Media Subcommittee of the Mayor's Census 2000 Complete Count Committee and board member and chair of Crime Stoppers of Lawton. He had also been a member of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board of Directors, United Way of Lawton-Fort Sill board nominating committee, United Way Fund Distribution Committee, Association of the U.S. Army and St. Jude's Benefit Bicycle Ride Committee.
Lang succumbed to cancer on February 8, 2007.
October 1, 2009