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Scholarships to Commemorate Slain Virginia Journalists


August 27, 2015
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
In the midst of Wednesday's tragic shooting and killing of WDBJ7 journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward by alleged gunman and former WDBJ-TV reporter Vester Lee Flanagan, Parker's alma mater, James Madison University is accepting donations for the Alison Parker Memorial Scholarship. Similarly, Patrick Henry Community College, where Parker received her associate's degree, is accepting donations for their Alison Bailey Parker Memorial Scholarship. There is an identical scholarship being created for Ward, who graduated from  Virginia Tech in 2011.

In the midst of Wednesday's tragic shooting and killing of WDBJ7 journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward by alleged gunman and former WDBJ-TV reporter Vester Lee Flanagan, Parker's alma mater, James Madison University is accepting donations for the Alison Parker Memorial Scholarship. Similarly, Patrick Henry Community College, where Parker received her associate's degree, is accepting donations for their Alison Bailey Parker Memorial Scholarship. There is an identical scholarship being created for Ward, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011.

The two young journalists were shot and killed on-air early Wednesday morning as Flanagan recorded the shooting from a gunman POV and posted it to Twitter and Facebook before being chased by police on Interstate 66. Flanagan had crashed the vehicle and suffered from self-inflicted wounds. He later died at a nearby hospital. Flanagan had faxed a 23-page manifesto/suicide note to ABC News, detailing his plans to respond to the racism of the Charleston church shooting. He also cited his own grievances; he claims being attacked by black men and white females, being discriminated against for being a gay, black man, suffering racial and sexual harassment and being bullied at work. A former reporter at WDBJ7, it was reported that Flanagan posed a hostile threat and disturbance to co-workers. This according to internal memos from WDBJ7 news Chief Dan Dennison, who cited Flanagan's "aggressive" behavior towards colleagues. Consequently, Flanagan was fired and it was recommended he seek medical attention. In his manifesto, the gunman had referred to himself as a "human powder keg" that was "waiting to go BOOM!"

Following the tragedy, scholarships are being created to memorialize the two WDBJ7 journalists by their respective schools. Those who wish to inquire about and/or support these scholarships may do so by contacting the schools directly:

James Madison University
JMU Advancement Gifts and Records
ATTN: Alison Parker Memorial Scholarship
MSC 3603
Harrisonburg, VA 22807.

Patrick Henry Community College
Patrick Henry Community College Foundation
645 Patriot Ave.
Martinsville, VA 24112

Hopefully, these scholarships will not only provide opportunity for future students of these institutions, but also preserve the memory of those who were so brutally and senselessly slain.

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KELVIN ONYANGO... ELDORET,KENYA  on  9/6/2015 1:51:37 PM commented:

Very sad indeed....They died serving the world and may God rest their souls in peace. Am also persuing journalism and media studies at diploma level. How do i go about it inorder for me to be awarded a sschorlship? Looking foward for your positive responce{onyangokelvin6@gmail.com}

malic webb  on  9/5/2015 10:28:20 PM commented:

Looking for scholarship

suman sapkota  on  9/1/2015 8:30:46 PM commented:

hi, I am suman from nepal and want to study abroad in journalist.

Sebastian J  on  8/29/2015 2:12:19 PM commented:

Yes. It is a sad and regretful tragedy that may have been avoided, or not. What happened happened, it's what we do afterward that matters. It is true that Flanagan's past was filled with bullying and pain, but it occurs to nearly everyone to some degree. Not everyone who is bullied kills, commits suicide, or preform some other act if escapism (this is not to say that I blame him. I'm just saying that no one forced him to kill. True that no one supported him, but once again a lot of people don't have support, so they must seek it out themselves, not wait for it to come to them). It is true that our life circumstances play greatly into who we become, but it is how we react to them that defines who we are. Learn from the past, don't live in it

Adam U  on  8/29/2015 5:06:07 AM commented:

Breaks my heart

Doris Ramos  on  8/28/2015 8:02:45 PM commented:

I been bully so many time when I was a kid at school. Even my teacher would bully me because they didn't like me. That made me stronger to be somebody in this life, because they don't run my life. I want to go back to school, but I don't have the money to pay for my education that I need. To be somebody in the future like a nurse, business women, and a lawyer.

Raegan R.  on  8/28/2015 12:25:20 PM commented:

Although this is a tragedy, bullying shouldn't be overlooked either.

Nick T.  on  8/28/2015 12:10:36 AM commented:

So sad to see how innocent people can get killed

Xochilt T.  on  8/27/2015 6:07:44 PM commented:

Let's get out of the box. Even tho two innocent people had died in a tragedy, there were three victims! One in which didn't have support. So now the country is faced with how do we not give guns to "bad people?" (Not justifying what he did but stating things that are not mentioned) This man had hopes and dreams before he went loco. Don't forget how it started- With the simple BULLYING, which is still going on. So how many more tragedies will come till everyone joins together the right way?!

ANESHA Wilson ss  on  8/27/2015 4:41:29 PM commented:

This was very said my heart goes out to the family

Austin wynia  on  8/27/2015 3:51:10 PM commented:

It was so sad that those news casters died they didn't do anything wrong : (

Derris L.  on  8/27/2015 3:34:42 PM commented:

No matter what Flanagan identifies himself as or how hostile his coworkers are, what he did to journalists Alison Parker and Patrick Henry was wrong. He obviously didn't have peace of mind; otherwise he would've produced good character.

Alicia Michel  on  8/27/2015 3:22:28 PM commented:

so sorry for the loss I previous learned about this situation in my ap physchology class

Lynetta Mc  on  8/27/2015 2:32:04 PM commented:

Deeply saddened for this loss of two young lives in such a senseless act of violence and intolerance. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of these two bright shining stars. Rest in Peace.

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