Little is known about the early days of the Illinois College Press Association, except that archival copies of current member newspapers from as early as 1922 mention an organization by that name which sponsored conventions for college journalists. In the 1970s, the organization became defunct.
The modern-day Illinois College Press Association was founded with the adoption of its Constitution and Bylaws at its first convention at Eastern Illinois University on April 8-9 1983. It was the result of a year’s work by Harry Theil and Jim Munz (Illinois State University), John David Reed (Eastern Illinois University), E. Mayer Maloney, Jr. (University of Illinois), and Harvey Beutner (Illinois Wesleyan University).
Charter members were: The DePaulia (DePaul University), The Daily Eastern News (Eastern Illinois University), The Pegasus (Eureka College), GSU Innovator (Governor’s State University), The Argus (Illinois Wesleyan University), The Decaturian (Millikin University), The Print (Northeastern Illinois University), The Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University), Regent Tribune (Rockford College), The Encounter (College of St. Francis), The Daily Egyptian (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale) and the Western Courier (Western Illinois University).
Membership is open to all four-year colleges in Illinois. Member schools may nominate their journalists for awards in 29 different categories each year, and are eligible to have members of their staffs attend the convention (for a nominal per-person registration fee). Other benefits include access to free legal advice and newsletter updates. Membership dues are currently $125 per year for schools with an enrollment of less than 9,000 students and $200 for schools with an enrollment of more than 9,000.
Schools interested in joining ICPA should send their dues and the following information (newspaper name, frequency of publication, school name, enrollment, newspaper address, phone, fax, email numbers, and the names of the editor and adviser) to: John Ryan, ICPA Secretary-Treasurer, Journalism Dept., Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920. Membership is good for the calendar year.