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Ross Mayhew scholarship

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For rising seniors

The Ross Mayhew Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 to $3,000 honors Ross Mayhew, a former editor in chief of The Review who died in 1986. The scholarship, established in 1986 with gifts from the family and friends of Ross, is given to a rising senior who demonstrates excellence in journalism, general scholarship and financial need.

If you'd like to be considered for the scholarship, send an email to journalism@udel.edu. Please put "Mayhew scholarship" in the subject line and offer a brief explanation of why you think you are deserving of the scholarship. If you have any questions, please direct them to Dr. Deborah Gump, journalism program director, at dgump@udel.edu.

A 'passion for journalistic excellence'
Ross Mayhew

​A. Ross Mayhew was praised by The Review for his "dedication to improving the university" and "bold leadership of the paper" as its editor.

​Ross Mayhew, according to one of the student journalists who worked with him at The Review, pushed hard for excellence.

But he also knew when a lighter touch was called for. Giving flowers, for example.

Cindy Smith was the first recipient of the Ross Mayhew scholarship, awarded months after Mayhew died. In a Review column written after she had been selected, she began by noting the congratulatory flowers on her windowsill, sent by a professor:

"The last time I received flowers in conjunction with journalism was about a year ago, when Ross brought in roses for all the girls on The Review staff.

"It had been a rough week, and at one time or another, each one of us either had cried on his shoulder or screamed in his face.

"He was the managing editor then, and I was a news editor in the middle of my third semester of working with him. Ross always pushed hard for quality work from people, but he knew when the time had come to be a friend instead of a boss."

The 22-year-old died by his own hand two weeks before graduation. The following year, on the anniversary of his death, he was mourned in the paper he had led:

"Ross was known for his dedication to improving the university and was one of the student body's strongest advocates. His bold leadership of the paper from January to May 1986 was evident in his 'Declaration of Student Rights,' his coverage of the university's computer controversy and his humorous and poignant columns."

Ross Mayhew column

One of those columns discussed student apathy about student elections. Ross wrote:

"I will give $50 to anyone who can adequately explain why students are more interested in being drunk than improving student life here in Newark. That person will also have the opportunity to present his theory and/or opinion here on the editorial pages of The Review. The opportunity is open to anyone - students, faculty, staff.

"However, knowing this university, I will probably wind up spending the $50 on myself."

Mayhew was the son of Arthur Mayhew, former publisher of the Bucks County Courier Times in Pennsylvania, and the late Barbara Mayhew.

In a 1992 Review column, then-student Jeff Pearlman wrote that Ross was "one of those special writers who come along at Delaware once every decade or so, they say."  One of his favorite "words of wisdom," Pearlman wrote, came from Samuel Johnson:

"It is always a writer's duty to make the world better, and justice is a virtue regardless of time or place." 

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Ross Mayhew scholarship
  • The Journalism Program
  • 207 Memorial Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • 302-831-3870
  • journalism@udel.edu