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$300K Gift From CNN to Establish Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Journalism

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism and CNN have established an endowed graduate fellowship honoring an alum and founding employee of the network, Dean Lucy A. Dalglish announced Thursday.

The fellowship is funded by a $300,000 gift from CNN to honor Merrill College alum Richard “Rick” Davis M.A. ’84, who joined CNN in 1980 and will retire at the end of January after serving as executive vice president of news standards and practices since 1998. It will provide merit-based support for Merrill College graduate students with a preference for students who will promote diversity in the newsroom.

“CNN would not be what it is without him,” said Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, and president of CNN Worldwide. “This fellowship will have a goal of supporting diversity in the newsroom as well as provide training for newsroom leadership. We can think of no better way to show our appreciation for Rick than the well-trained journalists of the future.”

The CNN Richard Davis Fellows will be mentored by designated leaders and staff at CNN in the Washington, D.C., bureau. CNN mentors may be involved in supporting fellows’ careers with a goal to expand diversity in newsrooms.

The fellowship recognizes Davis’ legacy at CNN and his impact on journalism and history of supporting and mentoring students. He previously established two Davis Scholarships in Journalism at Merrill College.

“Over the last 10 years, no one has taken a greater interest in our students—particularly domestic minority students—than Rick Davis,” Dalglish said. “Not only has the Davis family contributed student scholarship support, they have made it a point to meet and mentor each scholarship recipient, which is not an easy thing to do when you live in Atlanta. We are regularly blown away by Rick’s generosity to the college.”

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