The Diederich College of Communication offers a wide variety of scholarships and awards, listed below, that recognize student achievement in and out of the classroom. Most scholarships are available to juniors and seniors, selected by their department’s faculty. Scholarships for incoming freshman are highlighted below (*). 

More information on scholarships for incoming undergraduate students can be found through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

College-wide Awards and Scholarships

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The J. William and Mary Diederich Scholarships*

Named after the college benefactors, J. William and Mary Diederich, the Diederich Scholarships have been established to assist meritorious students who show leadership potential in the field of communication.

Up to five Diederich Scholarships of $8,000 are awarded annually to incoming freshman and are renewable each year of a recipient's four-year undergraduate program, provided the recipient remains a student in the Diederich College and maintains a 3.0/B grade-point average. Eligibility for the award includes academic excellence, leadership and student need as determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For additional details, see the applicable Award Information Guide, available from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Bill & Mary Diederich Scholarship

Awarded to a student with a demonstrated interest in Internet journalism; based on faculty recommendation. Bill and Mary Diederich were both graduates of the College of Journalism. Bill Diederich went on to a successful career with Landmark Communication and helped launch the Weather Channel.

Pete and Bonnie Axthelm Scholarship

Awarded annually to one or more students committed to a career in sports writing.

Diederich College of Communication Scholars Award

Awarded to a student from each major and the graduate program who has demonstrated leadership potential. Based on faculty recommendation.

Gerald E. Buldak Scholarship

 Awarded based on faculty recommendation to a Diederich College of Communication student. Gerald Buldak, a longtime public relations executive, recently retired as senior vice-president of public affairs at Banc One Corporation. He is currently a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board in the Diederich College of Communication.

Christopher Crosby Farley Scholarship

Merit award presented to a junior for creativity and positive use of humor, based on application and audition. Chris Farley, a student in the Marquette University College of Speech, became a popular comedian and actor. Perhaps best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, Chris also starred in several hit movies before his untimely death in 1997.

Arthur “Bud” and Nancy Liebler Scholarship

Awarded to a Diederich College of Communication student based on faculty recommendations. Mr. Liebler was senior vice president of marketing and communication at Daimler Chrysler until 2001 and is currently president of the Liebler Group, a public relations and strategic communications consulting firm in Detroit.

James Foley Endowed Scholarship

The Foley Scholarship will provide tuition support for communication students who:

  • Are economically disadvantaged and who might otherwise be unable to attend Marquette.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to social justice through service.

  • Aspire to be communication professionals working for positive change in our world after the example of Jim Foley.

Olson Family Endowed Communication Award

Merit-based awards shall be made to students with junior standing, with a preference to students enrolled in the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication. Awards shall be made to students with demonstrated personal initiative in the exploration of current and emerging communication technologies, who have a strong balance between classroom and experiential learning, and who have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Preference shall further be given to students who have performed service outside of the classroom, such as participation in student broadcast, multi-media and communication activities, or advanced technology internships. It is the intent of the benefactor that one award be made annually, but the university may (at its discretion) make more than one award after taking into consideration factors including, but not limited to, distributable funds then available for awarding, tuition in effect at that time, and other financial aid and scholarship awards being received by recipients.

Awards shall be made by the Office of Student Financial Aid after selection of the recipient by the dean of the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication or a faculty member or members designated by the dean.

Recipients of the award shall also be recognized on a plaque dedicated to the award located within the facilities used by J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication.

Students who are interested in applying for the Olson Family Endowed Communication Award should contact Dr. Kati Berg for additional information.


Major Specific Scholarships

Advertising and Public Relations

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Donald and Barbara Abert Milwaukee Foundation Scholarship

Awarded by the Milwaukee Foundation based on faculty recommendation to communication students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement. Donald Abert began in the promotions department at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 1936. He rose through the ranks to become chairman of the board before he retired.

Ad Club Student of the Year

Awarded to an advertising student who provided exceptional service to the Diederich College of Communication Ad Club.

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Student of the Year

Awarded to a Public Relations student who provided exceptional leadership and service to the Diederich College of Communication chapter of PRSSA.

PR+Social Media Summit Scholarship

Presented to outstanding students in strategic communication with interest in social media.

Communication Studies

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Dean Hugo Hellman Academic Achievement Award

Instituted during the University’s Centennial Year, this award is named in memory of Dr. Hugo Hellman, dean of the College of Speech from 1941 through 1969. The award is presented to a full-time student completing junior year and majoring in communication studies. Recipients must have excelled in scholarship and service to the university. Selection based on application, interview and faculty recommendation.

Corporate Communication

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Emile and Louise Ashooh Endowed Scholarship

Presented to outstanding students pursuing a major in corporate communication.

Digital Media

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Walter Jay and Clara Charlotte Damm Scholarship

Awarded by the Milwaukee Foundation based on faculty recommendation to students pursuing careers in radio, television, news and entertainment communication media. Walter Damm was the general manager of Journal Company Radio and pioneered FM radio in Milwaukee in the 1940s.

Jeannie Hayes Scholarship

Awarded to a junior with a strong passion for digital media and exemplifies Jeannie Hayes’ kind spirit and commitment to Marquette University’s mission of cura personalis.

Kay and Don McNeill Communication Scholarship

Presented to students who hold news or editorial management positions at Marquette Radio or MUTV and are recommended by faculty. Don McNeill was a Marquette University graduate known for his network radio program, “The Breakfast Club,” which ran from the 1930s into the 1960s.

Kay and Don McNeill Creative Efforts in Student Broadcasting Award

Awarded to students at Marquette Radio and/or MUTV for outstanding or significant creative efforts while making positive contributions to student broadcasting. Based on faculty recommendation.

Kenneth Shuler Achievement and Merit Award

Presented to an outstanding junior on the basis of past efforts and future potential in the production and/or technical aspects of broadcast or audio-visual media. Ken was a highly valued member of Marquette’s Instructional Media Center, which was renamed the Kenneth Shuler Instructional Media Center in his memory. Application available in February each year.

James T. Tiedge Award

Presented to a Digital Media student whom exemplifies Tiedge’s commitment to ethics and doing the right thing in a word filled with difficult choices. The award commemorates his motto: “Know what you want from life: work to achieve it with integrity and conscience.”

Robert U. Turner Award

Presented to an outstanding junior with high academic achievement and exceptional professional promise in broadcasting. Selected by committee. Robert Turner, the first director of Marquette’s Instructional Media Center, established this award prior to his untimely death in 1982.

George P. Wensel III Memorial Scholarship

Presented to a junior who possesses an excellent intellect and knowledge of the subject matter, true leadership traits, a sense of humanity, relentless drive, passion and humor, all reflecting the values of George P. Wensel III. Selected by the chairs of Digital Media and Performing Arts.


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Jerry Dretzka Award

Awarded for the best fiction contribution published in the Marquette Journal, determined by faculty. Jerry Dretzka was an editor of the Tribune while a student at Marquette University.

Ione Quinby Griggs Scholarship

Presented by the Milwaukee Foundation and awarded based on scholastic ability, determined by faculty. Ione Quinby Griggs was a longtime reporter and columnist for the Milwaukee Journal and one of the first women to work in the Journal newsroom.

Dion Henderson Memorial Award

Presented to a Journalism student who has displayed high quality and promise as a writer. Based on faculty recommendation. Dion Henderson was Milwaukee bureau chief for the Associated Press, an author and part-time journalism faculty member.

Journalism Award

Presented to a Journalism student with a demonstrated record of high academic achievement and strong leadership skills.

Albert C. Kalmbach Scholarship

Presented to a journalism student toward pursuit of a journalism career. Based on faculty recommendation. Albert Kalmbach was the founder of Kalmbach Publishing, which publishes 14 magazines and has more than 250 books in print.

Margaret Bradley Kehl Memorial Scholarship

Presented to one or more journalism students for their academic achievement.

George A. and Bernadette C. Mann Scholarship

 Awarded to a student enrolled in the journalism department. Based on faculty recommendation.

Jay McGill Publishing Management Scholarship

Given to a student with demonstrated proficiency in the study of publishing and publishing management. 

Milwaukee Press Club Ray Kenney Memorial Scholarship

Presented by the Milwaukee Press Club to a junior or senior who has demonstrated outstanding academic and professional ability. Ray Kenney was Business Editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel and later the Milwaukee Journal.

Minority Journalism Student Award 

Presented to a minority journalism student for excellent work in the major.

Edward F. Pepan Scholarship

Awarded to an undergraduate student in the news/ editorial journalism program, based on faculty recommendation. Ed Pepan was a longtime assistant to the dean in the College of Journalism and later the College of Communication.

Anne Powers Writing Award 

Presented to a Journalism major for excellence in writing. The author of 14 published novels, Anne Powers Schwartz was a part-time writing instructor in the journalism department for many years.

Jessica Powers Scholarship

Presented to an upperclassmen or graduate student who has expressed an interest in pursuing a career in religious journalism. Based on faculty recommendation.

George Reedy Award

Given to a journalism major with a demonstrated interest in media ethics. George Reedy was dean and a longtime journalism faculty member. Before coming to Marquette University, he was press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson. Based on faculty recommendation. 

Paul Salsini Award

Given for the best nonfiction contribution published in the Marquette Journal, determined by faculty. Paul Salsini has been a writing coach and part-time faculty member in journalism for more than 35 years. He is a former writing coach and editor at the Milwaukee Journal.

Leonard P. Scheller Scholarship

Presented to a student based on academic merit and service to the Marquette community and beyond.

Harvey & Geraldine Schwandner Scholarship

Awarded by the Milwaukee Foundation, based on faculty recommendation, for a news sequence in the Diederich College of Communication. Harvey Schwandner, a legendary city editor of the Milwaukee Journal, was known for his integrity.

John and Leocadia Shinners Award

Presented to a Journalism student of high academic standing who shows particular interest in community journalism or editorial writing. The Shinners published a group of weekly newspapers in the Milwaukee suburbs. Based on faculty recommendation. 

Silverman Family Scholarship

Awarded to a Journalism student for career assistance, based on faculty recommendation. The Silverman family has been a friend and donor to Marquette University for many years.

Rosemary Rocca Tlachac Memorial Scholarship

Award given to one or more journalism students previously inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu. Rosemary Rocca Tlachac was a journalism graduate.

Betty Washington Scholarship 

Award given to a journalism student to help ensure a free, fair and representative press. Betty Washington was a long time Milwaukee Journal reporter and one of the first minority journalists hired by the Milwaukee Journal.

Mattiebelle Woods Scholarship

 Awarded to a Journalism student with a demonstrated leadership in community service.

Theatre Arts

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Association of Marquette University Women Scholarship

Four-year award presented to students with demonstrated potential in the field of theatre arts. Awarded based on auditions and interviews held during February scholarship competition and open house.

Ello and Guido Brink Scholarship

Four-year award presented annually to an entering student with demonstrated success in design/technical theatre. Guido Brink was a recognized artist and teacher who played a leading role in Milwaukee’s visual arts community. Ello Brink was an accomplished editor and architectural critic. Together they were major contributors to art education and the arts in Milwaukee.

Elizabeth Rowe Hughes Memorial Scholarship

Award given to one or more theatre arts majors to further their education in the field of drama.

Rev. John J. Walsh, S.J. Performing Arts Endowed Scholarship

Presented to a junior whose extraordinary acting talent and discipline indicates genuine professional success. Selection based on auditions. Father Walsh transformed the Marquette University Players from a co-curricular activity into a nationally recognized program. His vision became the Department of Digital Media and Performing Arts with a major in theatre arts.

Marquette University Scholarship for the Performing Arts

Four-year award presented to a new student through an audition and interview process, held during the February scholarship competition and open house.