Scott Thurm, A80

Scott Thurm, A80, has a few claims to fame: winning a Pulitzer Prize in journalism as part of a team of reporters who covered a tragic bus accident in the late ’80s, garnering two Gerald Loeb Awards for business and financial journalism, and coining fellow Jumbo Senator Scott Brown’s famous nickname, “Downtown Scotty Brown,” while at Tufts.


Scott Thurm, A80

While Thurm doesn’t recall too many details of the latter, Dan Brenner, A81, reminded him of the circumstances over email when the name was revived by the media during Brown’s 2010 Senate campaign.

It happened when Thurm and Brenner, who were co-announcers for WMFO, Tufts’ student-run radio station, were broadcasting a Tufts basketball game from the front row of Cousens gym. Brown, A81, was on the team. Says Thurm, “It was late in the game and he hit a very long shot, and I just yelled, ‘Downtown Scotty Brown!’”

A senior editor at The Wall Street Journal, Thurm looks back fondly on his time at Tufts, especially the hours he logged as an editor for the Tufts Observer, which at the time was a weekly newspaper.

“I just remember the two and three AM mornings inside Curtis Hall as we would be putting the paper to bed,” says the former Senior Award winner. “There was a sense of camaraderie we shared because we got punch-drunk in the wee hours.”

Those punch-drunk hours gave way to a prolific career, from the Louisville Times to the San Jose Mercury News to the San Francisco bureau of the Wall Street Journal, where he wrote several stories during the peak of the Internet craze in the late ’90s and early ’00s, “exposing some steamy practices in Silicon Valley.”

Thurm was also part of a Journal team that was a finalist for a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for stories covering the loss of privacy during the Internet era. He calls the series a “career highlight” and of his post-Tufts profession he says, “It’s been a good ride.”

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