While the Department of Communication at Mizzou continues to grow – we now have the largest number of Communication majors in the Department’s history – our growth comes at a time of reduced budget allocations that we normally rely on to fund important needs. Whether supporting our undergraduate student organizations, funding the vital research efforts of our graduate students and faculty, or equipping our classrooms with the latest instructional technology, the demands to sustain one of the largest academic units at MU are many.
A donation to the Department of Communication Gifts Fund provides us with maximum impact in responding to our greatest needs. As this is not an endowed account, the entirety of one’s gift is available immediately for Department needs. It’s only through the generosity and support of our many alumni and friends that we’re able to maintain the margin of excellence that allows Mizzou Comm to thrive!
After 35 years of service to Mizzou as a professor, advisor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Dr. Michael J. Porter retired in 2014. Thousands of students, from those who experienced his introductory radio and TV classes to those he mentored as a doctoral advisor, have been touched by Dr. Porter’s efforts.
In honor of Dr. Porter’s dedication to MU and the Department of Communication, his colleagues, friends, family and former students established the Michael J. Porter Chair’s Enhancement Fund. This endowed fund will provide assistance where it is needed most, including supporting scholarships, internship opportunities, and faculty enhancement. In this way, Dr. Porter will continue to shape the Department of Communication for years to come.
Completing internships and participating in educational opportunities outside the classroom make college students more marketable when searching for professional employment. However, many students aren’t able to take advantage of the best internship experiences because most are unpaid and financial aid won’t cover the costs.
Thankfully, senior Kelsey Brown didn’t have as many worries about money while interning with Fox Sports in New York City. She was the first student to benefit from the Communication Student Opportunities Fund established by the Advisory Council of the Department of Communication. Brown received $1,000 for rent and food during her summer internship. This newly established fund needs additional alumni participation to continue to support the extracurricular education of our communication students. The Council’s goal is to award up to three students $2,000 each in the coming years.
Please consider a financial investment in the lives of today’s students by supporting the Communication Student Opportunities Fund. Every dollar has a meaningful impact.
This fund was established in 2001 by the faculty in the Department of Communication and subsequently renamed to honor Rebecca Verser, a 2007 doctoral graduate of our program. In 2010, while an Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University, Rebecca died from an autoimmune disorder at the age of 35.
Rebecca Verser embodied many of the very best qualities of the ideal graduate student. While at Mizzou, she assumed a leadership role among the graduate student association; and she was passionate about helping raise funds to assist her fellow graduate students with their travel to conventions to present papers or to help them defray research costs associated with their dissertation projects.
Each year, a number of grants from the Verser Graduate Student Support Fund provide financial assistance to our graduate students for dissertation research support, travel expenses, or research fellowship stipends. Requests for this support, however, always far exceed the available funds. Please make a gift to this endowment and support the important research and career development of our many graduate students.
This endowed fund was created in 1995 by Loren and Gus Reid on the occasion of Loren Reid’s 90th birthday. Dr. Reid joined the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art (now the Department of Communication) at MU in 1944 as Professor of Speech, just four years after the Department was founded. He remained a member of the Mizzou faculty until his retirement in 1975. Loren Reid received one of the first PhD’s in Communication (from the University of Iowa), and during his long career at MU he was recognized as a leading figure within the emerging Communication discipline, including service as President of the Speech Association of America in 1957 (now the National Communication Association). Loren Reid passed away on December 25, 2014 at the age of 109.
When establishing this fund, Loren Reid’s desire was to provide support that would enhance the professional growth of faculty and students, stimulating opportunities for teaching, research and service that would transform a good program into a great program. Currently, this fund supports a number of important activities and initiatives, including The Loren Reid Lecture Series that brings back to campus the Department’s distinguished doctoral graduates, and also undergraduate and graduate student awards named in Reid’s honor, including The Loren Reid Outstanding Senior Award for Department Service & Leadership and The Loren Reid Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award.
Throughout his remarkable life and career, Professor Reid embodied all that is noble about our profession. Through his teaching and scholarship, his service, and his work with generations of students, he helped pioneer and shape the Communication discipline. A gift to the Loren Reid Opportunities for Excellence Fund will allow us continue Professor Reid’s vision of building a truly great Department of Communication at Mizzou.