October 29, 2008

Event raises $4,600 for endowed scholarship fund

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A fundraiser last week raised approximately $4,600 toward establishing an endowed scholarship in memory of a Southern Illinois University Carbondale photojournalism student killed in a traffic accident while en route to an assignment in April.

The Ryan Rendleman Photojournalism Scholarship now stands at more than $21,000, said William H. Freivogel, director of SIUC’s School of Journalism.

The scholarship will honor Rendleman, a 22-year-old senior, who died April 29 south of Nashville. The crash occurred less than two weeks before Rendleman was to earn his bachelor’s degree. Family members accepted Rendleman’s diploma posthumously during commencement ceremonies May 10.

The hope is for the scholarship to be fully endowed at the $25,000 level by the end of the 2008-2009 academic year, “and to award the first scholarship to a deserving photojournalism student in the spring of 2010,” Freivogel said.

More than 60 people, including Rendleman’s parents, grandparents, brother and several friends attended the event, Freivogel said.

Rendleman’s name is on a preliminary list for enshrinement in the Newseum’s Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial “pays tribute to reporters, photographers and broadcasters who have died reporting the news,” according to the Newseum Web site.

Rendleman was on his way to an assignment for The Daily Egyptian student newspaper to interview the granddaughter of Blue Sky Vineyards owner Barrett Rochman for a story on Tay-Sachs disease when the accident occurred, Freivogel said.

The Journalists’ Memorial includes etched names on glass panels of the 1,843 reporters, photographers and broadcasters from around the world to die while reporting the news, dating back to 1837. The memorial includes photographs and electronic kiosks with information on each journalist. Elijah P. Lovejoy, editor of The Alton Observer and an abolitionist, is among those enshrined. Lovejoy was fatally shot in 1837 while defending his press from a pro-slavery mob.

A date for 2009 enshrinement ceremonies is to be determined, said Tina Tate, the Newseum’s director of media relations.

The Oct. 24 fundraiser and auction included the announcement of an additional $2,000 contribution from School of Journalism faculty members Phil Greer, Anita J. Stoner, Bill Recktenwald, and Freivogel to the scholarship fund. The money is in addition to the $2,000 they gave last spring.

The Southern Illinoisan newspaper contributed $1,000, and Rochman -- who waived the pavilion use fee -- bought several of Rendleman’s print photographs, Freivogel said.

Recktenwald is pleased with the response in creating the scholarship.

“I’m very pleased that even in these difficult economic times people are reaching deep into their pockets to assist in turning this into an endowed scholarship,” Recktenwald said.

Rochman is one of the largest contributors toward the scholarship, said Ron Graves, constituency development officer for the College of the Mass Communication and Media Arts and associate director for institutional advancement with the SIU Foundation.

Contact Graves at 618/453-4748 or by email at rdgraves@siu.edu for more information on the Ryan Rendleman scholarship or to contribute.