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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   April 1999  issue

No Hard Feelings   

Michiganís Oakland University may have lost a lawsuit, but its journalism students will be the ultimate winners.


By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      

Michigan's Oakland University may have lost a lawsuit, but its journalism students will be the ultimate winners. They're the beneficiaries of a new scholarship endowed by the Oakland Press, an 85,000-circulation daily in Pontiac, Michigan. In 1995, the paper sued the public university for conducting its search for a new president in secret. A judge ruled the university violated the state's Open Meetings Act and awarded legal fees. After years of appeals, OU recently paid $42,740; Executive Editor Garry Gilbert says the paper added $8,000 more to fund the Oakland Press Endowment Scholarship for Journalism Excellence. Beginning in 2000, it will award $2,500 a year to one or two juniors or seniors planning careers in journalism. "We're very excited about this opportunity to help develop good young journalists," says Gilbert, an OU grad. "We'd like to create a pipeline of talent."