JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new scholarship honoring a Region 8 News legend will soon be available to students at Arkansas State University.
The Dick Clay "That's Sports" Memorial Scholarship has been fully funded.
Dr. Carl Cates, dean of Liberal Arts and Communications, said this scholarship has been a long time coming.
"Years ago, people had started working for a scholarship to honor Dick Clay," Cates said. "It had not achieved a level where it could be endowed where it would be funding students' work and students' work permanently. But that level was achieved about two weeks ago and we're pleased to let people know that's happened."
The minimum level for a scholarship to achieve endowment status is $25,000.
"That amount has been met," Cates said. "When I first moved here about a year and a half ago, it was about halfway to its goal. That halfway mark, we started there, a lot of contributions from people tied to Raycom and tied to Channel 8 and other people that followed his career and his announcing. They started contributing. And people that have a concern for our students, especially sports broadcasting, started contributing. And then, we were able to meet that level."
Dick Clay began working for KAIT-TV as sports director in 1970.
Cates said the scholarship in honor of "Dickie Bird" will go to students interested in a career in sports broadcasting.
"We know that students sometimes run out of funding and financial aid ability in their progress towards a degree," Cates said. "What we want to do is ensure they have the ability to finish."
Cates said this scholarship is important to the students, the communications department and the Region 8 community.
"One of the things I've come to understand is he was a loved figure and a very valued voice in the community," he said. "Those sportscasts, those were a featured item that people looked forward to seeing. Having that kind of name and honoring is both significant for the community and for the institution."
Cates said they hope to award the scholarship to its first recipient for the 2018 fall semester.
"What we're hoping is that we will be able to get some additional funding so that we can start off using it this fall," Cates said. "Normally on a scholarship, when it's endowed, unless there's extra funding, you have to wait about three years to award it. We were hoping with some extra help we could to that this fall."
For more information about Arkansas State University, log onto their website.
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