Robert and Jeanne Ingram’s gift for the future: Academic scholarships available to journalism hopefuls
June 19, 2018
It's no secret that the late Robert T. Ingram was a devoted newsman.
Throughout his career, Ingram served as city editor and eventually editor and publisher of The Union, and made his living earning the trust of the community. His footsteps fell solidly in the path left by his grandfather and his father, who was an early editor of The Union.
By his side for much of his career was his wife, Jeanne, who shared with him a love of travel and writing. The two would pen articles from faraway lands and bring them back to the community, sharing the world outside of Nevada County.
Robert Ingram died in 1988, while Jeanne died just last year. Upon her death, a scholarship fund was started with the purpose of perpetuating the Ingram's love of journalism into future generations of would-be newspeople.
In order to qualify for the Robert T. and Jeanne L. Ingram Memorial Journalism scholarship, the recipient must be planning on attending a two- or four-year college or university pursuing a degree in journalism and print media. The student must be a deserving student, and while need is not a requirement, it may be a consideration.
Dee Murphy, president of the Nevada Joint Union High School Foundation, said that 2018 was the first year the Ingram scholarship was offered. The first two recipients — Nevada Union's Anastasia Blount and Bear River's Sarah DeRise — each received $1,000 toward their education, an amount Murphy said will likely increase as the scholarship ages.
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"We get these trusts and we want that to live on," said Murphy. "We invest them and then we use what we have over that amount for scholarships. (We're) keeping it going, so it doesn't ever run out of money."
Robert T. Ingram's granddaughter, Patti Ingram Spencer, is proud that her family's legacy is being continued.
"Journalism has been the legacy and the passion of my family since my dad's grandfather, then my grandfather, then my dad," said Ingram Spencer. "(The scholarship) seems like a way for my grandparents to give back to the community. They were very supportive of Nevada Union High School and of journalism as a profession."
Ingram Spencer speculates her grandfather would be pleased to know that although journalism in many ways has changed, it has held steadfast to its purpose of sharing news for the good of the community.
"I think he'd be terribly happy and thankful," said Ingram Spencer, "that he was able to provide funds for some type of perpetual scholarship that would encourage people to look at journalism as a profession.
"We're all starving for truth and fact, and that's what true journalism is: telling a story but relating the facts so that the reading public can understand what's taking place."
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-477-4231.
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