For many years, Maneater advisers hoped to create a scholarship to reward dedicated staffers for their hard work. The idea started to become a reality during The Maneater's 50th anniversary celebration in 2005, at which alumni started giving to a fund via an auction. Throughout the next three years, alumni continued to donate, and in 2008 an alumni committee of former editors and advisers convened to create guidelines for the scholarship. The committee awarded the first annual prize of $500 to Justin Myers in the spring of that year. Each spring, the four-person committee judges applicants and selects a recipient.
Sophomore student journalist wins $2,500 Maneater Scholarship
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Maneater scholarship committee is pleased to announce Molly Duffy, a sophomore journalism major, has been awarded a $2,500 scholarship for her contributions to the University of Missouri’s official student newspaper. This year’s scholarship is the largest the committee has awarded since the scholarship program launched in 2008.
The Maneater scholarship program was created using seed money donated during the paper’s 50th anniversary celebration as well as other alumni gifts. A steering committee of five alumni helps oversee the program and judges scholarship applications every year.
“We began this scholarship adventure with $500; we have progressed wonderfully in not too many years,” said committee member Barb Burlison, a member of the paper’s inaugural staff and its retired longtime adviser. “I know how hard it is for students, particularly out-of-state students, to make ends meet, and I am so glad The Maneater now can be of real monetary assistance as well as practical experience for a student.”
The committee said it was a difficult decision this year, after once again receiving a record-breaking number of applications from many worthy student journalists, but Duffy stood out for her unwavering dedication and the variety of work she’s done during her two years at the paper. Duffy has served as the paper’s forum editor; the city, state and nation section editor; and beat writer, covering both the university’s student government and state higher education issues.
After her first year on staff as a writer, Duffy applied for a news editor position but wasn’t selected for it. Instead of leaving the paper, she stuck around and later accepted the forum editor job when asked to step up. In her essay, Duffy said though she was upset by the initial rejection, it made her a better journalist.
“Looking back, I can honestly say that I love that rejection,” she wrote. “Not only did it ground me, but it also opened up an entirely different newsroom to me. I hated it, but it was a huge favor to me … I had never written anything opinionated, but I felt like I needed to be at the paper. After everything the paper and staff went through my freshman year, it felt wrong to leave. So, I took the position.”
Committee member and former Maneater managing editor Derek Kravitz said Duffy “is the reason the Maneater scholarship program exists.”
“Molly has been at the paper since setting foot on campus a year and a half ago, making the paper her home away from home,” said Kravitz, a fellow at the Columbia University's Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and a former Associated Press national economics writer. “After her first year, she was asked to take on one of the newspaper's toughest jobs: penning the campus editorials. She didn't shirk from the assignment. She gives back to the paper, and the university, by working incredibly long hours with very little pay, all with the goal of producing great, informative journalism.”
The Maneater was founded Feb. 18, 1955 by Joel Gold. Gold took the former student newspaper — The Missouri Student, which was then run by the Delta Upsilon fraternity — and renamed it The Maneater to reflect a more aggressive news style. Since then, The Maneater has prided itself on passionately reporting and seeking out what’s important to its student readership. The newspaper has won numerous national and regional journalism honors. Maneater alumni have gone on to work in many of the nation’s top newsrooms, including The Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post.
The editorial and advertising staffs at The Maneater are comprised entirely of students, with the exception of an adviser and receptionist. The Maneater is the official student newspaper of the University of Missouri and is a student organization that operates independently from the student government, the School of Journalism and any other campus entity.
The scholarship committee has been able to increase the award amount thanks to the generous donations of its proud alumni base. The committee wishes to thank alumni and donors for continuing to support the paper and ask any friends and alumni interested in donating to the scholarship program to contact Maneater adviser Becky Diehl or check out the scholarship page on The Maneater’s award-winning website.
“I am so thankful for the paper's alumni who have been able to move forward with the scholarship funding,” Burlison said. “Definitely speaks to the quality of our alumni!”