The Mark Ionescu Fund

On Friday, January 12, Mark Ionescu taught his last journalism class at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, MD. He was a journalism educator and moderator of the school’s nationally-ranked newspaper, The Patriot, for 17 years. Ionescu graduated from the school in 1995 and was Editor in Chief of The Patriot as a student.

Ionescu remains on staff at John Carroll as an AP English teacher.

In his time as Patriot moderator, Ionescu doubled the size of the editorial staff and expanded the publication from a 12-page black and white print publication to a 16-page full color publication with a robust website.

Throughout his time at John Carroll, his students won more than 200 national and international awards, including an Online Pacemaker Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. The award is considered scholastic journalism’s preeminent honor.

In 2012, Ionescu himself was named Journalism Educator of the Year by Youth Journalism International, an honor he was nominated for by his students.

Ionescu’s students have gone on to work for major media organizations, among them: PBS, CBS News, The Boston Globe and Condé Nast. A number of these reporters, producers and editors cite Ionescu as the reason they pursued careers in journalism.

Even more of Ionescu’s students cite his compassionate character as the reason they will long remember him. He cared deeply about his students and guided many of them through struggles with mental health, relationships and family situations.

Ionescu was known for supporting his journalism students as they wrote editorials and published news stories on difficult, sometimes controversial topics, particularly at a Catholic institution -- including same-sex marriage, abortion and sexual assault.

In that spirit, former students and friends of Ionescu established this fundraising initiative to ensure future journalism students are able to pursue similar stories and exercise their first amendment rights.

All funds raised through this campaign will go to the the Student Press Law Center (SPLC). According to their website they are "the nation's only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, and supporting the student news media in covering important issues free from censorship."

The goal is set at $10,000 so that Ionescu will be considered a "Freedom Fighter," the term for the top donation level at the SPLC.
  • Brandy Willey 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 56 mos
  • Karen Murphy 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Leichliter Family 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • The Taylor Family (match) 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
See all


Jillian Hughes 
Washington D.C., DC
Student Press Law Center, Inc. (Splc) 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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