James Hoffman, A.B. ’80, has made a $50,000 pledge that will create the James Hoffman Family Endowed Speaker Series in the School of Communication at the University of Miami. The gift will be used to fund an annual lecture on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Our founders knew how tyranny operated, and this knowledge offered them the insight to craft the First Amendment to the Constitution,” said Hoffman, a businessman in the Denver area. “This led to a set of rights that became the fabric of the new society. It is essential that students are forever mindful of these rights that guarantee our democracy.”

Hoffman, a longtime UM volunteer and past president of the UM Alumni Association’s Denver Alumni Club, and his wife, Joy, are pleased to present this gift to the School of Communication “with the hope of continuing free expression in all its forms.”

Professor Sam Terilli, chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Management, expressed his gratitude to Hoffman and his family for this commitment.

“The First Amendment and journalism are inextricably linked not just through the free press clause, but through all of the freedoms encompassed by the amendment,” Terilli said. “These freedoms are the subject of daily news coverage and public debate. This series will allow us to offer students, faculty, and the public a wonderful opportunity each year to look beneath the surface and understand the deeper issues.”

This article was originally written for e-Veritas