Scholarships

To Apply
Applicants for Cunningham Akmentis, Lally and Saidt scholarships in the Department of Communication and Journalism should submit a Rider University Academic Scholarship Application.

Applications are available from:
Office of Financial Aid, Rider University
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 896-5360


Ellen Cunningham Akmentins Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship is to be awarded to four deserving incoming freshmen. Preference is given to journalism and education students. Beginning in 1999, $2,500 will be given to each student.

The recipient will be selected by the Director of Admissions. Recipients will be known as the Ellen Cunningham Akmentins scholars. The Cunninghams will receive a report each year on the scholarship recipients, who will be provided an opportunity to meet their benefactors. Recipients must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average.

Ellen Cunningham Akmentins '84, who received her Bachelor degree in journalism, died in 1991. In 1998, her parents, Daniel and Ellen Cunninham, established an annual, current-use scholarship in memory of their daughter. It is a Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund in Ellen's name that will provide at least $10,000 in perpetuity.

"Ellen's mother and I are very pleased to provide this scholarship to a Rider student," said Dan Cunningham. "Ellen thrived at Rider, and we know she would have approved of this. It's our way of ensuring that her name will be remembered while providing for a student in need."


Professor Willard E. Lally Journalism Scholarship

The scholarship supports a Rider University student majoring in Journalism or Communication. Recipients are selected by the Director of Office of Financial Aid.

This special scholarship in honor of longtime Rider journalism professor Willard E. Lally was created in October 1997 by Peter G. Sparber '69, a former student of Professor Lally. It is supported through contributions of Professor Lally's many friends, colleagues and students.

Contributions may be sent to:
Lally Scholarship
Office of Development, Rider University,
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Quick, who coined the phrase, "accuracy, accuracy, accuracy"? Any scholar of journalism knows that this lesson in newswriting was created by Joseph Pulitzer. But Rider News editors from 1956 to 1985 heard Professor Lally croon these words regularly. Whether Professor Lally or Joe Pulitzer was the first to state this basic journalism premise isn't the issue. The point is that, when Professor Lally retired from Rider, he had served with distinction as a journalism professor and mentor to hundreds of student majoring in the Department of Communication and Journalism.

"The students make the whole job worthwhile — frustrating at times, though I have shared in their successes and joys," he once said.

Professor Lally advised The Rider News for 27 years. "My life was spent with the student newspaper," he once said. He also was a long-time adviser to The Night Rider, the newspaper for evening students, and to Pi Delta Epsilon, an honorary fraternity for journalism majors, which evolved into Sigma Delta Chi, The Society of Professional Journalists.

Professor Lally received his bachelor of arts degree from Midland College in his hometown of Freemont, Neb. He has two Master degrees, one in education from the Colorado State College of Education and one in journalism from the University of Missouri. In addition to his career at Rider, he has written for such area papers as The Asbury Park Press and The Times of Trenton. He and his wife, Terry, now reside in Florida.

Professor Lally said at the time of his retirement that what he would miss most is The Rider News students.

"They're the greatest bunch of kids in the world," he said.


Bus Saidt, '40 Memorial Scholarship

Preference will be given to students who are interested in sports writing. The director of financial aid will recommend candidates to the Chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism, who will seek input from journalism professors to assist in selecting the recipient each year. The student will be considered for an internship at The Times of Trenton.

Bus Saidt, a longtime sportswriter for The Times of Trenton, passed away in 1989. In April 1993, Times staffers Jim Gauger and Rick Freeman approached Rider to establish a scholarship that would honor Saidt's memory.

Contributions may be sent to:
Bus Saidt '40 Memorial Scholarship
Office of Development, Rider University,
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

The following is excerpted from an article by Harvey Yavener '52

"It was 28-year-old Bus Saidt who welcomed 19-year-old Willie Mays at the Trenton train station in 1950. Saidt chauffeured Mays to Maryland for the first game of an immortal career - and the start of a summer during which Saidt described each at-bat of the Trenton Giants' new star to the listeners of WBUD-AM.

That passion for the contests, mixed with a gift for description and a dedication to professionalism, ultimately led Saidt to print journalism. He joined the staff of The Trentonian in 1964 and moved to The Times of Trenton in 1967, where he worked until his death in 1989. His "meritorious contributions to baseball writing" earned him the rare honor of enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Sports, especially baseball, were Saidt's first love. But upon graduation from Rider with an accounting major, he was offered a job at the finance office at City Hall, and he jumped at the chance to earn a paycheck. "One thing I can guarantee you," said his sister. "Bus never wanted to be an accountant." But he held the job for a quarter-century. His Trenton City Hall duties financed his underpaid days as a radio personality.

He kept WBUD listeners informed about everything from Babe Ruth baseball to pro teams that played in Trenton. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, he broadcast Princeton University football games. Even though his dream of becoming the full-time broadcaster for the Phillies or Yankees was never fulfilled, his sportcasting did win acclaim. Late in 1998, he was named a Lindsey Nelson Outstanding Sportscaster by the All-American Football Foundation.

And for decades, his words gained permanence in print. From his first column, he insisted on being reporter as well as columnist. He wanted to be at the game to relate the game's story, as well as define it."


Jeff Cope 78' Memorial Scholarship

Candidates for this award must be full- or part-time Rider students interested in a sportswriting career. Recipients will be selected by a committee comprising three Rider graduates, one Rider professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism and other professionals as determined by the committee.

Jeff Cope, who died in 1992, served as sports editor of The Rider News and was president of Rider's first Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, now Society of Professional Journalists. This scholarship was established in the spring of 1993 by his widow, Jane Cope, along with many Rider journalism alumni, spearheaded by Donna Leusner and Ralph Siegel.

Contributions may be sent to:
Jeff Cope '78 Memorial Scholarship
Office of Development, Rider University,
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

To Apply
Applicants for the Cope Scholarship in the Department of Communication and Journalism should submit to the review committee the following materials:

  • A letter expressing interest in pursuing a career in sports writing
  • A resume
  • Their own sports reporting clips from The Rider News
  • Other publication or professional media (i.e., daily or weekly newspapers; regional or national magazines)

The following is excerpted from an article by Donna Leusner '80

"Sports was Jeff's passion. He knew he wanted to be a sports writer even before he graduated from Dieruff High School in 1974 in his native Allentown, Pa., and his love of the field remained with him until his death in 1992.

As a sports writer, columnist and editor for 15 years, Jeff covered professional, collegiate and high school baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey.

His journalism career began at The Rider News, where he moved up from sports writer his freshman year to sports editor his senior year in 1977. He served the same year as the first president of the Rider College chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, later the Society of Professional Journalists.

His professional career began as a sports writer for The Times of Trenton. He covered the 1979 Army-Navy game, the Flyers' 1979 NHL record-breaking win streak, the Cosmos soccer team and the last Princeton-Rutgers football game.

Jeff left The Times in the summer of 1979 for a brief stint, joining a number of Rider graduates and professors, at the now-defunct Bucks Morning Sun in Yardley, Pa. He then returned to The Times, where he covered the Eagles' 1980-82 seasons. In 1983, he moved up the street to The Trentonian. On the news desk there, he edited copy, wrote headlines, laid out the paper and covered harness racing in his spare time.

Three years later, he moved on to the Gannett-owned Westchester Rockland Newspapers chain in White Plains, N.Y., where he worked for a year as a layout editor. He accepted a job as copy editor in 1987 at The Delaware County Times and remained there for two years before returning briefly to The Trentonian as a sports copy editor.

Jeff embarked on a new phase of his career at the end of 1989, entering the field of medical journals. He edited two radiology magazines for hospital administrators published by Merion Publications in King of Prussia, Pa. Jeff met his wife, Jane, in the sports department at The Times while Jane, a Rider student at the time, was working as a stringer."


107.7 The Bronc Scholarship

107.7 The Bronc is proud to annually award two partial scholarships to emerging student leaders at WRRC-FM. The scholarships are awarded to The Bronc's student General Manager and Program Director. Each senior, student executive position is elected exclusively by radio station personnel at the end of every academic year. Applicants must be of Junior or Senior status at Rider University, an active, contributing member to 107.7 The Bronc and have served, at least one full year, as a member of WRRC's student executive staff. Students can serve up to two consecutive terms. Service is for one calendar year.


The Rider University Network (R.U.N.) Scholarship

A partial scholarship is awarded annually to the President of The Rider University Network. Only an upper-classman can be selected for this scholarship. This selection is based on a student’s contributions to the Rider University Network and the Department of Communication and Journalism over their time at Rider University. The President of The Rider University Network is chosen annually by the club's adviser. Students who emerge as leaders within the Rider University Network organization are always considered for this scholarship.