White House Correspondents’ Association and Syracuse University Announce New Scholarship Partnership

The White House Correspondents’ Association is partnering with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University on a new scholarship for a journalism student with a focus on pursuing government or political reporting.

The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded annually. The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) would pair the student for a year with a volunteer mentor from the White House press corps. The recipient will also be invited to a scholarship luncheon in the spring and the annual WHCA dinner in Washington in April.

“The WHCA is grateful for this new partnership with Syracuse University,” said Kelly O’Donnell, Senior White House Correspondent for NBC News and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. The WHCA announced the new scholarship Tuesday.

“We know that Syracuse has a long track record as an institution that produces talented and well-prepared journalists,” O’Donnell said. “We believe this scholarship will help WHCA support a new generation of journalists whose work will hold government to account and shine a light on important issues.” 

An exterior photo of the White House
Adobe Stock Photo

Syracuse becomes the 13th university to partner with the WHCA to help promising young journalists, many of them the White House correspondents of the future.

“Training journalism students and helping to set them up for success for a career in the newsroom is part of what we do best,” said Mark J. Lodato, dean of the Newhouse School.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to an exceptional experience in our nation’s capital, working with some of the country’s top political reporters,” he added.

The new scholarship partnership comes less than a year after the University launched the Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship (IDJC) in Washington. IDJC engages in nonpartisan research, teaching and public dialogue aimed at strengthening trust in news media, governance and society.

The institute, which is an initiative of Newhouse and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, is led by Kramer Director Margaret Talev. She is a former WHCA president.  

“The mentoring, relationship building, experiences and support that come with this scholarship are truly awesome for aspiring political reporters at a crucial time in their professional development,” said Talev, who covered the Trump and Obama administrations.

Other institutions who have partnered with the WHCA on scholarships are: American University, Arizona State University, Columbia University, Hampton University, Howard University, Northwestern University, Ohio University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Kansas, the University of Maryland, the University of Missouri and the University of Tennessee.

The WHCA also has college scholarship partnerships with the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the White House Historical Association. 

For more information, please contact Executive Director Steve Thomma at director@whca.press.

About the WHCA

Founded in 1914, the White House Correspondents’ Association exists to ensure robust news coverage of the president and the presidency, and to promote excellence in journalism and journalism education. Each day, we work to ensure that the men and women who cover the White House have the ability to seek answers from powerful officials, up to and including the President. We also support awards for some of the best political reporting of the past year, and scholarships for young reporters who carry our hopes for vibrant journalism in the years to come.  Our association comprises hundreds of members from the worlds of print, television, radio and online journalism. Their work, for outlets based in the United States and overseas, reaches a global audience.