Scholarships for Currently Enrolled Students
A number of scholarships carrying cash awards are presented at the Journalism/Student Media Banquet at the end of the spring semester. Full-time journalism majors who are currently enrolled at Eastern and intend to complete their bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply. However, some scholarships have additional requirements set by donors.
The selection begins in late February as journalism faculty members nominate students for awards. Once nominated, students must complete and return applications and any supporting materials by an established deadline. The Journalism faculty at large or smaller individual faculty committees make the final decision.
The Broadcast Journalism Scholarship
Established in 2005 with funds provided by friends, faculty and alumni of the Department of Journalism, this award is made to a current journalism student with a concentration in Broadcast News. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be interested in a career in broadcast journalism. The recipient may be eligible to apply for and receive the award again provided s/he continues to meet the criteria.
The Mary (Wohlrabe) Durkin Agency Scholarship
Established in 2004 by student members of The Agency as a tribute to Mary (Wohlrabe) Durkin, this award recognizes juniors majoring in journalism who are involved with The Agency, a student-run public relations firm. The recipient must be a full-time student in good academic standing. Dr. Durkin was a journalism professor from 1981-2003 and was founder of The Agency.
The Richard H. Icen Fourth Estate Award
Richard Icen, longtime editorial page editor of the Herald & Review in Decatur, Ill., established this scholarship in 1990. The award recognizes a journalism major who has completed a minimum of 90 hours by the fall semester in which the award is given and has demonstrated a commitment to the role of a vigorous press in a democracy. Nominees must write a 500- to 750-word essay on the role of a free press, submit proof of journalistic activities that indicate an interest in promoting press freedom, and clips or tapes of news stories and/or editorials demonstrating a commitment to journalistic practices going beyond the routine.
Illinois Broadcasters Association Scholarship
This scholarship, endowed by the IBA in 2005, is given to an outstanding journalism or communication studies major who will be a senior in the year he or she receives the award. The recipient must demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a career in broadcasting and must have extensive broadcast experience at WEIU-TV/FM.
The Curtis MacDougall Newspaper Journalism Award
This scholarship was established in 1987 through the generosity of the family of Dr. MacDougall, a journalism professor at Northwestern University for more than 35 years. The award recognizes a journalism major who intends to pursue a career in newspaper journalism who has earned 30-59 semester hours by beginning of the spring semester when the award is announced. The recipient must have at least a 2.0 GPA and must have worked for The Daily Eastern News or Minority Today.
The Francis W. McColl Scholarship
Established by the late Dr. Emma Chenault Kelly, a professor of English, to honor Mrs. McColl, a longtime friend and English Department colleague, this scholarship supports their common interest in creative writing. At the time Dr. Kelly established the scholarship endowment, she thought it appropriate to have the Departments of Journalism and English share it. Mrs. McColl died in 2005. In even-numbered years the Department of Journalism presents the McColl Scholarship to an Eastern student with an interest in feature writing.
The Terry McCullough Memorial Community Press Scholarship
This award was established in 1988 by journalism alum Paul E. Black in memory of Terry McCullough, former editor of the Mattoon Journal Gazette. The award recognizes a junior (60-89 semester hours) selected in part for his or her commitment to a career in community newspaper journalism. Nominees must furnish a typewritten statement of 250 words on their career objectives. Criteria also include significant work on Student Publications or on a community newspaper, as well as a minimum 2.7 GPA.
The Hal Middlesworth Scholarship
This is the department’s second-oldest scholarship. It was funded through the generosity of alumni who once were student publications staff members and was originally titled the Student Publications Alumni Scholarship. It was renamed in 1984 to honor Hal Middlesworth, class of 1931, a former editor-in-chief of The Eastern News who became a well-known journalist and ultimately public relations director for the Detroit Tigers baseball team. This award recognizes a journalism major who has “devoted a significant time and effort in service to his or her fellow students as a staff member with Eastern’s newspaper, yearbook or other student publication for at least four semesters.” Nominees must submit a typewritten statement of at least 250 words explaining their choice of journalism as a career. The recipient must be in good academic standing and have between 65-89 semester hours at the beginning of spring semester.
The Bruce Allen White Montgomery Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a member of the student newspaper staff of outstanding character whose action and conduct reflect credit upon EIU. The recipient must be in good academic standing, demonstrate talent in visual editing and must have completed 30-89 hours. Robert and Sue Montgomery established the scholarship in 1991 in memory of their late son, Bruce, and to honor another son, Robb, ’90, who has become a prominent newspaper design consultant.
The Jim, Tom and Robin Roberts Scholarship
Established in 1990, this scholarship is awarded to a journalism major in good academic standing who wants to pursue a news photography career. The recipient must be a full-time junior or senior by fall semester following his or her selection in spring. The recipient must have demonstrated outstanding ability to do creative “assignment” shots as well as to produce creative “enterprise” news or feature photos for The Daily Eastern News or The Warbler. The late Jim Roberts, a 1946 EIU graduate, served as editor of The Eastern News between 1943-46 and was a longtime Illinois newspaper publisher. His son Tom and daughter-in-law Robin, both EIU journalism graduates, were photographers for The Daily Eastern News and Warbler.
The James A. Saunders Scholarship
Established in 1990, this scholarship seeks to recognize minority students who will serve as role models in the journalism profession or in related fields. Nominees must have completed 30-89 semester hours with at least at 2.0 GPA and submit a 250-word statement of career objectives and proof of work on one or more student publications or other media. Mr. Saunders, an EIU journalism professor from 1981-86, died in 1992 at age 69.
The Gene Seymour Memorial Sports Journalism Scholarship
Established in 1998, this scholarship is awarded in honor of a distinguished sports journalist and columnist and former editor-in-chief of The Daily Eastern News. Mr. Seymour died in 1996 at the age of 43. The recipient must be a senior journalism major who is a full-time student in good academic standing, who will attend at least one additional semester prior to graduation. The recipient must have been involved for at least four semesters in sports journalism at The Daily Eastern News and have an intention to pursue a career as a sports journalist.
The Daniel E. and M. Adrianne Thornburgh Scholarship
This award was established by Dr. Daniel E. Thornburgh and his wife Adrianne. Dr. Thornburgh served as a professor and administrator at EIU from 1959-1992. He was the first chair of the Journalism Department. The recipient of the Thornburgh Scholarship must be a fulltime student majoring in journalism who has reached at least junior status at the time the scholarship is awarded and has maintained a minimum 3.0 grade point average during his/her studies at EIU. In addition, the recipient must have distinguished himself/herself in work with one or more student media organizations at EIU.
The Errett and Marie Warner/Daniel Thornburgh Presidential Scholarship
This journalism scholarship is one of 17 awards established in different fields of study in 1986, by the late Errett Warner, a prominent local educator and landowner. At Mr. Warner’s request, the journalism scholarship is also named after his longtime friend Dr. Thornburgh, who served the university for 33 years as a journalism professor and administrator. The recipient must have a record of outstanding academic achievement and must be someone whose actions and conduct represent outstanding character and whose goal is to pursue a career in journalism. Candidates must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA.
The Benjamin Weir-Eugene Waffle Scholarship
Established in 1978 in honor of the late Benjamin Weir, longtime publisher of the Charleston Courier News, and the late Dr. Eugene Waffle, longtime head of the EIU English Department, this award is the oldest of the Journalism scholarships. Mr. Weir, who died in 1973 at the age of 91, was often called “the dean of Illinois newspaper men” in trade publications. Dr. Waffle’s leadership enabled the journalism program, then located in the English Department, to expand. This award recognizes a junior who has made significant contributions to Student Publications and intends to pursue a career in journalism. The recipient should also have at least a 2.7 GPA.
The Roy Wilson Excellence in Public Relations and Journalism Scholarship
Family members established this scholarship in 2003 to honor Mr. Wilson on his 90th birthday. Wilson, a 1936 EIU graduate, had a distinguished public relations career with the National Education Association and also served as executive director of the National School Public Relations Association. He died in 2008. This scholarship is available to a full-time student majoring in journalism. The recipient(s) must be in good academic standing and display a need for financial aid. Preference is given to applicants interested in a career in public relations.
Talented Student Awards, Grants-In-Aid AwardsA limited number of TSA and GIA awards are given to students who show promise and demonstrate an interest in a career in journalism. Applicants must be journalism majors. Applicants further understand that during any semester this award is received they must: 1) Be officially enrolled in the Department of Journalism as a full-time student; 2) Remain in good academic standing; 3) Demonstrate an intention to pursue a career in journalism or public relations by active participation in one or more student media or organizations affiliated with the Journalism Department, by working part time in a professional situation or by participating in some other approved activity.
For more information about journalism scholarships and awards, contact:
- Department of Journalism
2521 Buzzard Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
For more information about university scholarships, awards, and financial aid programs, contact:
- Office of Financial Aid
Student Services Building
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920