"A Longstanding Tradition of Journalistic Commentary"

The 10th annual Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship


Whitten Maher is remembered for his powerful, compassionate and insightful writing as well as his design skills, and we honor him at James Madison University through the Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship for Writing and Design.

This year, as JMU’s student newspaper The Breeze marks its 100th year, we mark a 10th call for submissions to the scholarship founded in memory of Maher, who saw his first Breeze article in print in December 2007 while still a freshman and later served as the paper’s Design Editor and Senior Writer/Columnist.

The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship was established to acknowledge and support undergraduate work that conveys the compassion, intensity and well-informed reason of its namesake, whose premature death on December 20, 2012, cut short a promising career in writing and design.

A double major in Political Science and Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Maher shared his gift for inspiring a sense of hope grounded in good reason through his writing. A selection of his pieces, featuring great titles like "For You, Wherever You Are," "And So We March," "Turn Off the Media," and "We’re Not Sorry, Really," is available on our WMMS website’s "Whitten Maher in Print" page.

Over the past nine years, the Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to 16 JMU sophomores, juniors and returning seniors. In 2022, Mya Wilcox, majoring in Public Policy and Administration, and Kate Peppiatt, majoring in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, joined the ranks of WMMS recipients.

The 2023 WMMS scholarship is open to ALL returning full- or part-time James Madison University undergraduate students in ALL academic disciplines. Each scholarship recipient is awarded at least $1,000 toward their following year's tuition. Writing- or design-based submissions should engage one or more of the following concerns:

  • educate audiences through a civic purpose,
  • promote empathy rather than derision, and/or
  • seek to encourage populations who feel unrecognized or misunderstood

This year's WMMS deadline for submissions is March 1, 2023. For more information and to apply for the scholarship, visit our "Submission Guidelines" page.

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Published: Monday, February 20, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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