Back in May I wrote about the death of my good friend and mentor Barbara Kerr Page, with whom I had the pleasure of working with at The Albuquerque Tribune. If you missed that, it’s here.
Many of you who didn’t know Barb wrote very nice notes to me. Some of you had a Barb-like person in your own newsroom life — someone whose wit and stubborn dedication to accuracy and excellence left a lasting impression on everyone she or he worked with.
A few weeks after she died, many of her friends (including yours truly) gathered at Ollie Reed’s house for a casual memorial. It was one of the most beautiful, breezy spring New Mexico afternoons. (Picture above, courtesy Mark Holm.) We talked about Barb and what she meant to us. She wouldn’t have wanted us to go to the trouble of getting there from great distances, but I think she would have loved it.
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So. There’s a scholarship fund now, in Barb’s name, that’s been started at her alma mater, New Mexico State University. It’s a journalism scholarship, which will be given annually. It is my hope that it will be awarded to a student who demonstrates some 21st-century Barb Page-like tendencies: Someone who is drawn to editing and demonstrates a devotion to the collaborative art of good journalism. Someone who fusses over details, facts, truth, process, headlines, presentation, good management — and does so in the many platforms that now exist.
But that’s a decision for down the road. Right now, the main thing is to raise money. The fund, I’ve been told, is getting close to $10,000 — an amount that would begin generating an annual $500 scholarship.
I realize this isn’t much, but it means a lot to me and to others. So I’m asking.
I’m pretty sure I’m asking for the first time. I did an AIDS walk-a-thon in 1994 and I don’t think I’ve ever asked anyone for a donation for any cause since. I could be wrong about that — maybe I’ve been more needy than I recall. What I do know is the degree to which I’ve donated to others’ causes, things, efforts, events, etc. Triathalons, kid’s church mission trip, seats at charity dinners, self-funded journalism projects, cross-country relocations, job-finding assistance, etc.
I would like for you to consider a one-time donation of ANY SIZE to this scholarship fund. Here’s how to do it online: Click this link. At step 1, choose the button that says “Find a Giving Area/Fund.” This will bring up a new window — in the search field type the word “Barb” and you will see the Barbara Kerr Page Endowed Journalism Scholarship, the third item in the list. Click on that. Proceed from there. It takes no time at all.
It’s tax-deductible. You’ll get a receipt right away, and later, a more formal one from NMSU.
Here’s what else. I have made two large donations so far and intend to make one more before Dec. 31. For this donation, I WILL MATCH the total of what Tonsil readers have donated, up to a total of $500. If you donate, leave me a message here or e-mail me privately at hank [at] hankstuever [dot] com and let me know what you gave. Do this by Dec. 15 please, if you can.
It would mean a lot to me and to some young journalists. Thanks.