Each year the School of Media Arts and Design awards nearly $40,000 in scholarships for current and incoming students.

Eligibility: Two four-year scholarships, the Byrd-Mims and Alison Bailey Parker scholarships, are for high school seniors applying to JMU with the intention to major in SMAD. The other scholarships are for students already admitted into SMAD. Seniors graduating in May or August are not eligible for any of the listed scholarships except for the Neckowitz Study Abroad Scholarship, which is available for August graduates.

Criteria: Determining factors for SMAD scholarships vary. Criteria might include the strength of the application, academic achievement, extracurricular achievement, career promise, financial need and/or study-abroad plans.

Notification: Winners are announced at the SMAD Awards Ceremony in April.

How to apply: Madison Scholarships Hub is the application center for all JMU Foundation scholarships. To log in, go to MyMadison and under the “Student” tab, click on the logo for Madison Scholarships Hub. Once you complete the general application (available in early January), you will be matched with scholarships for which you are eligible. Most SMAD scholarships have early March deadlines. You should review the criteria for any scholarship and complete all application requirements to be considered.

Byrd-Mims Scholar - Incoming Freshmen

This four-year $2,500 annual scholarship is awarded to the most promising journalist entering JMU as a first-year student. The award recognizes the student’s demonstrated commitment to journalism, as well as promise of high academic achievement at JMU. The scholarship is paired with a Madison Award for Academic Excellence making the scholarship package worth about $12,000 per year for the most recent recipient. In addition, the Byrd-Mims scholar will be directly admitted to the journalism concentration in the School of Media Arts & Design instead of having to apply during the school’s regular admission period in the spring.

The Byrd-Mims Journalism Scholarships were enhanced in 2009 by a $250,000 donation to JMU’s journalism scholarship endowment from the late Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr., whose family owned Harrisonburg’s Daily News-Record/Rockingham Publishing. The scholarships honor their benefactor, Sen. Byrd, and his friend and associate D. Lathan Mims, who served for many years as editor and general manager of the Daily News-Record.

Prospective students can apply through the Madison Scholarship Hub. The opportunity opens at the beginning of the spring semester in January. Application materials are due by March 3, 2023.

The Byrd-Mims Scholar must enroll for a minimum of 12 hours each semester, maintain a 3.0 JMU grade-point average, and participate continuously in the JMU student media.

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Alison Bailey Parker ('12) Memorial Four-Year Journalism Scholarship

This four-year, $2,500 annual scholarship is awarded to an exceptional incoming first-year student. The scholar should share the passion for journalism and commitment to academic excellence exemplified by Alison Bailey Parker, for whom this scholarship was endowed. The Parker Scholar will receive a $2,500 annual scholarship and a Madison Award for Academic Excellence. That scholarship package amounted to about $12,000 per year for the most recent recipient. The Parker Scholar will be directly admitted to the journalism concentration in the School of Media Arts & Design instead of having to apply during the school’s regular admission period in the spring.

In memory of their daughter, Alison, Barbara and Andy Parker honored her passion for journalism with an endowed scholarship. Before her life was tragically cut short, Alison pursued the print and broadcast tracks in SMAD with great verve and vigor, serving as an editor for The Breeze, landing two broadcast TV internships and, after graduation, flourishing as a broadcast reporter and anchor in Jacksonville, N.C., and Roanoke, Va.

Prospective students can apply through the Madison Scholarship Hub. The opportunity opens at the beginning of the spring semester in January. Application materials are due by March 3, 2023.

To renew the Parker Scholarship annually, the recipient must remain in SMAD’s journalism concentration, maintain a 3.0 grade-point average, enroll in at least 12 hours per semester, and be continuously involved in JMU student media. There is no financial-need component to this scholarship.

Available for incoming freshmen

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Byrd-Mims Journalism Scholarships

This scholarship, worth more than $5,000, is awarded to the most deserving rising senior JMU student journalist and is based on commitment to journalism, high academic achievement and possibly financial need. An awardee is expected to enroll for a minimum of 12 hours each semester during the year the student receives the scholarship. Typically, the scholarship is awarded to a Media Arts & Design major studying journalism. However, the selection committee also considers other evidence of commitment to the profession, including journalism-related coursework, work with campus print media and professional journalism internships. The selection committee may interview finalists for the award.

The Byrd-Mims Journalism Scholarships were enhanced in 2009 by a $250,000 donation to JMU’s journalism scholarship endowment from the late Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr., whose family owned Harrisonburg’s Daily News-Record/Rockingham Publishing. The scholarships honor their benefactor, Sen. Byrd, and his friend and associate D. Lathan Mims, who served for many years as editor and general manager of the Daily News-Record.

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Digital Video Group, Inc. Scholarship

In 2008 the Digital Video Group, Inc. established a scholarship for outstanding undergraduate student scholars majoring in Media Arts & Design at James Madison University. The scholarship honors the memory of Donnie E. Mongold, a longtime JMU employee. Donnie worked as a procurement officer and was responsible for negotiations with DVG to install SMAD’s TV studio. He died from cancer shortly after the studio installation and DVG named this scholarship in his honor.

The scholarship, which was $1,500 in 2022, is based on academic achievement and is awarded to a rising junior or rising senior in any SMAD concentration.


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John Woody One Day / One University Scholarship

The John Woody One Day/One University SMAD Scholarship is endowed from funds directly earned from special productions by digital video and cinema students in the School of Media Arts and Design.

The scholarship, which was $1,400 in 2022, is awarded to a rising senior in either the Digital Video and Cinema or Interactive Design concentration, based on commitment to media production and academic achievement.

Typically, applicants must have completed or be enrolled in SMAD 302 or SMAD 307. The selection committee also considers applicants’ commitment to the profession, including media production activities, such as internships.

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Madison Cinema Studies Scholarship

The Madison Cinema Studies Scholarship is endowed by the late Hollywood screenwriter Don Rhymer and his wife Kate, both JMU alumni. The award is based on academic performance and possibly financial need. 

The scholarship, which was $2,100 in 2022, is awarded to a rising junior or rising senior in the Digital Video and Cinema concentration.

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The Neckowitz Study Abroad Scholarship

Established to honor Alan Neckowitz, who was instrumental in founding the Summer in Ireland Study Abroad Program. This award will help with expenses of at least one SMAD major studying abroad each year. The awards committee will give priority to a student with a record of outstanding academic and co-curricular achievement who is enrolled in a program that is taught or directed by a member of the SMAD faculty.

The award, which was $1,000 in 2022, is based on academic achievement (financial need is not a consideration).

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SMAD Alumni/Professional Advisory Council

Established in 2011, the SMAD Alumni/Professional Advisory Council Scholarships are based on academic achievement. The scholarship was $1,700 in 2022. Fully admitted SMAD majors in any concentration may apply. 

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Madison Screenwriting Scholarship Competition

The Madison Screenwriting Scholarship Competition is open to undergraduates majoring in English, Theater or SMAD. 

Submit the following information for consideration:

  • One PDF of a short screenplay

  • 20 pages or fewer in proper screenplay format

All scripts must be original work — no adaptations.

Screenplay format guide: https://www.storysense.com/format.htm

Approximate Award Amount:

1st Place $1250

2nd Place $750

Due: 5 p.m. Friday, March 5

For more information, contact Professor Imelda O'Reilly at oreillix@jmu.edu.

 

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Alison Bailey Parker ('12) Memorial Journalism Scholarship

In Spring 2017 and annually thereafter the SMAD Scholarship Committee, in consultation with the journalism faculty, will consider awarding one $3,000 merit-based scholarship to a SMAD major with an outstanding record in journalism. The winner will be a rising senior who is a full-time student, preferably with a grade-point average of at least 3.0. Following the example of Alison Parker, a strong record of involvement in journalism-related extracurricular activities, such as The Breeze, Bluestone or internships is required. If the Scholarship Committee makes no award in a given year, the income earmarked for the award will be reinvested in the scholarship.    

No application process.

Blanche Garrett Memorial Scholarship

The Blanche Garrett Memorial Scholarship is funded by a donation from Dr. George Johnson and Dr. Marilou Johnson for students newly admitted into the Media Arts & Design major.

The award, which has averaged $1,500, is made based on the scores on the school's admission test for 2018-2020, financial need and grade-point-average.

No application process.

De Luca Journalism Scholarships

The De Luca Journalism Scholarships were created in 2008 in memory of Prof. Albert “Flip” De Luca of the School of Media Arts and Design, and his late father, Albert D. De Luca, a longtime publisher with Ottaway Newspapers Inc., a division of Dow Jones.

Scholarships will be awarded to editors of The Breeze. Awardees must complete the full academic year in these positions to receive the full amount of the award.

No application process

 

Wendelken-De Luca Endowed Scholarship in Journalism

On behalf of the friends, alumni and faculty of James Madison University, this endowed scholarship fund has been created in honor of Dr. David Wendelken, who served the university and its journalism students for 40 years, and in memory of Albert "Flip" De Luca, who passed away in 2008 after 29 years at the university. Both individuals played a significant role in many students' lives and started them on their careers.

When the scholarship fund is fully endowed, the Wendelken-De Luca Endowed Scholarships will be presented each year to a rising junior or senior in the Journalism concentration, with a preference to students serving on the university sponsored student newspaper (The Breeze) or student magazine (Curio) staff. 

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