Inducted on March 24, 2001
Will Chapman has been publisher of The Daily Iberian in New Iberia, La. since 1987, covering news about Cajun people and life in Cajun country, including sharing his observations and opinions on a variety of subjects in his twice-weekly Sweet Talk column, as well as his signed editorials published each Sunday and Wednesday.
He's a third generation newspaperman, following his father and both of his grandfathers into the business. His maternal grandfather, Nathan Bolton, was long-time owner and publisher of The Bastrop (La.) Daily Enterprise.
Bolton was an early, strong and vocal supporter of CODOFIL and its efforts in Louisiana, in editorials and columns as well as speaking personally on its behalf.
Chapman was born in Bastrop. He graduated LSU in 1977 with a B.A. degree in journalism.
Before coming to The Daily Iberian in 1980 as its advertising manager, Chapman worked for the States-Item & Times-Picayune in New Orleans, for the Baker (La.) Observer and Zachary (La.) Plainsman-News. He was named publisher of The Daily Iberian following the retirement of Don Olson.
Chapman has been active in New Iberia in a variety of roles. He's a former chairman of the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce and it was his idea for a chamber fundraising cookoff that turned into the hugely popular World Championship Gumbo Cookoff held each fall in New Iberia.
He's also served as chairman of the Iberia Industrial Development Foundation, is a past president of the New Iberia Optimist Club, a long-time member of the New Iberia Rotary Club, has served on the board of Epiphany Episcopal Day School, coached youth baseball and basketball teams, was a member of the Ancient Order of the Creole Gourmet, and served in a variety of other community roles.
In 1987 the New Iberia Jaycees honored Chapman as the community's Outstanding Young Man.
He is a past president of the Louisiana Press Association, following his father and grandfather in holding that position. He received LPA's President's Award in 1993.
The Daily Iberian is part of Wick Communications, which honored Chapman in 1997 as its Publisher of the Year.
Chapman married Gladys Hentz in 1979. They have two sons, Adam (who worked for the Lafayette Advertiser for a while, making four generations of his family to work in the newspaper business) and Daniel