Fall 2014

Dan Morain

Taking the Reins of Sacbee’s Editorial Pages


DAN MORAIN’S (‘77, Journalism) thoughts grab more attention than your average blogger. In addition to writing a column for the Sacramento Bee, he oversees 17 opinion pages per week that include letters to the editor, commentary, and editorials.

“I’m not aware of any other newspaper in California that devotes that much space to opinion journalism,” says Morain, who was recently named the Bee’s editorial page editor.

Morain’s appointment gives Humboldt State a clean sweep of the top two newspaper editorial page positions in Northern California. He joins John Diaz, opinion page editor at the San Francisco Chronicle since 1996, also a 2008 Humboldt State Distinguished Alumni award recipient.

The list of Humboldt State professors who prepared Diaz and Morain for their careers reads like a “Who’s Who” of the school’s Journalism instructors, including Mac McClary, Mark Larson, Sherilyn Bennion and Pete Wilson. Like many others, Morain found a mentor in the late Howard Seemann, a member of the Journalism faculty from 1969-98 and advisor to The Lumberjack student newspaper for 28 years.

“Howard gave me an F on my first Journalism final because I misspelled a name,” Morain says. “But he encouraged me to stick with it, and I listened. He remains one of the most interesting men I ever met.”

Larson remembers Morain as a particularly bright star during an era that featured a constellation of outstanding future journalists.

“While still early in my teaching career here at HSU, I was very impressed by Dan Morain as a student and a serious-minded young journalist who loved to write—and who was not afraid to ask questions of anyone in authority,” Larson said.

Looking back at his college experience, Morain marvels about the success of so many other students who honed their skills writing and reporting for The Lumberjack. Morain credits HSU’s journalism program with his and their success.

“It’s a great department,” Morain said. “That’s obvious when you look at how many really good journalists it has graduated.”