Medill Sets Up Full-Tuition Sports Journalism Scholarship for HBCU Alumni

In Summary

The new scholarship is from the Simmons Family Foundation and aims to support graduates of historically Black colleges and universities.  

Northwestern University launched a full-tuition scholarship to fund a graduate student enrolling in the Sports Media master’s program at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.  

With the support of the Simmons Family Foundation, the scholarship will aim to specifically fund an alum from a historically Black college or university over a five-year period. The Simmons Family Scholarship for Sports Journalism is Medill’s only financial award offered in its Sports Media program.  

“The Simmons Family Scholarship for Sports Journalism will allow Medill to attract the top sports journalism talent,” J.A. Adande, associate professor and director of sports journalism at Medill, said in a statement. “This scholarship will truly be a game-changer for the students it helps, and I could not be more grateful.” 

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The scholarship was created by the CEO of The Ringer Bill Simmons and his wife Kari. The Ringer is a sports and pop culture website and podcast network founded by Bill in 2016, and owned by Spotify since 2020.  

“Scholarship funding for graduate students is one of our most critical needs at Medill,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker.  

Whitaker continued, “This level of support will make a life-changing difference for students who receive it, and I am proud that this scholarship will further bolster Medill’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

Only 7.59% of Medill graduate students identified as Black or African American in 2019, reports The Daily Northwestern

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According to Medill’s website, the Sports Media specialization equips students with a foundation in the principles of modern journalism and in-depth subject area knowledge. Students travel to different countries and cities to gain additional skills, meet alumni and industry professionals. 

Applications for the Simmons Family Scholarship for Sports Journalism are now being accepted. To be considered, applicants must meet the requirements for admission to Medill.  

Notable alumni include Michael Wilbon, co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, and former ESPN host Rachel Nichols.  

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