In honor of the legacy of John Chancellor, the pioneering television correspondent and longtime anchor for NBC News, Barbara and Ira A. Lipman of Guardsmark, LLC, have provided a gift to Columbia University to support the John Chancellor Award for Outstanding Achievements in Journalism and to fund scholarships at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The award will be presented on Nov. 29 to a journalist whose distinguished body of work is known by his/her peers to embody the courage, integrity, curiosity and intelligence that characterize the traditional values of journalism. The Chancellor Scholarships will provide significant financial aid to students who have the leadership qualities exemplified by John Chancellor.
"We are very pleased to be the new stewards of the John Chancellor Award for Outstanding Achievements in Journalism, which provides richly-deserved recognition and reward to a journalist who has consistently produced the highest quality reporting, day in and day out, without compromise," said Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia's Journalism School. "We are also grateful to Mr. Lipman for his generosity in funding the Chancellor Scholarships so the Journalism School can nurture and educate talented newcomers with fire in their bellies to enter this field."
Established in 1995, the award was formerly named the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, and it was administered by the University of Pennsylvania. Distinguished winners have included Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times, who has reported on the Supreme Court for a quarter century; Jim Wooten, who filed stories for ABC News from 40 countries to report on war, strife and upheaval around the world; and Bill Minor, who courageously covered the civil rights struggle in Mississippi for five decades and inspired generations of reporters.
The recipient of the $25,000 Chancellor Award is selected each year by a panel of print and broadcast journalists who look across the media landscape to identify a reporter who may not be widely known by the public, but who is highly respected within the profession for the caliber of his or her work. The selection committee includes Hodding Carter III, David Halberstam, Bob Herbert, Jack Nelson, Anna Quindlen and Sander Vanocur. Nicholas Lemann, Ira Lipman and Mary Chancellor, the daughter of John Chancellor, also participate in the selection process.
"This award is very special because it recognizes what I think of as members of the infantry -- reporters who do the heavy lifting, even though they don't personally have the high public profile that some journalists in print and broadcast media attain," says David Halberstam. "Their commitment to reporting difficult stories over the long haul, often against the conventional grain, is a tremendous public service, and the example of endurance and honor that they bring to the profession is a reminder of what journalism is about at its best."
The first Chancellor Scholarships were awarded in August and are currently providing financial assistance to two MS students in the Class of 2006. The criteria for scholarship assistance are financial need, academic achievement, and commitment to leadership in print or broadcast journalism.
Lipman became a lifelong friend of Chancellor after the two met in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. Chancellor, the NBC News correspondent in Little Rock, was reporting on the desegregation struggle at Central High School, and Lipman became Chancellor's trusted source. Shining a national spotlight on this gripping regional story, the quality of Chancellor's informed and insightful reporting propelled him to national attention. Lipman subsequently founded Guardsmark, LLC, which, under his guidance as chairman, grew to be one of the world's largest security service firms.