UC Irvine School of Law has received a $1.5 million gift to establish an endowed chair in First Amendment Law.
The gift for the proposed chair is from Raymond Pryke, owner and publisher of Valleywide Newspapers, based in the High Desert community of Hesperia, California. Pryke's interest in publishing began in 1962 with the Apple Valley Observer, which he launched as a vehicle to promote sales for his real estate business. Today, Valleywide Newspapers publishes many newspapers serving Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, including the Hesperia Resorter, Apple Valley News, County Legal Reporter, Adelanto Bulletin, the Antelope Valley Journal and the Victorville Post Express.
The holder of the Pryke Chair would help solidify the School of Law's teaching and research in First Amendment and Media Law, serving as a national opinion leader in free speech and media law issues. The chair holder will be a respected national authority in this field, and it is expected that he or she will teach, write and speak on First Amendment issues of the day, including the role of a free press in preserving democratic society.
The gift was celebrated by a January 12 lecture by Barry Friedman, the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, entitled "Policing without Permission."