Hampton University
MSNBC President Rashida Jones Gives Back to Alma Mater Hampton University Through Scholarship Fund
03/29/2022 - #87

HAMPTON, Va. (March 29, 2022) Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications today announced three winners of the Rashida Jones Scholarship Fund. The financial gift was launched by MSNBC President Rashida Jones, one of the school’s most accomplished alumni. The scholarship will be provided annually to Hampton University students studying journalism.

This year’s three student recipients are: junior Eryn DeShields of Odenton, Md., senior Jonathan Scott of Apopka, Fla., and senior Lauren Turman of West Chester, Pa. The individual scholarships will help each student to cover part of their tuition costs.

“We’re delighted and so pleased to see one of our most-distinguished and successful star alumni give back to her university,” said Hampton University president, Dr. William Harvey. “I commend the new dean of our journalism and communications school for quickly putting Rashida’s kind gift to excellent use.”

“We appreciate her gracious gift and salute her as a leading executive in TV network news, and for paving the way for future journalists,” said Julia Wilson, dean of the journalism and communications school. “Our school has Hampton graduates working at some of the nation’s top news networks and newspapers, corporations and public relations and marketing firms.

Wilson said Jones is not only a highly accomplished journalist, but she became the first Black executive to lead a major television news network when she was appointed president in February 2021. Before joining MSNBC in 2013, Jones was the news director for the NBC affiliate and No. 1 TV station in Columbia, S.C.

Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass media arts from Hampton in 2002 majoring in broadcast journalism. In 2018, she was inducted into the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications Hall of Fame for her outstanding work.

“I will always have a special place in my heart for Hampton University,” Jones said. “It helped me gain the skills and confidence to dive into the competitive world of journalism and television news. I hope this contribution can help and inspire Eryn, Jonathan, and Lauren as they prepare for their next chapter.”

In 2020, Jones was named to Variety’s New York Women’s Impact Report “37 New Yorkers Making an Impact in Entertainment” list. She is also an ambassador for the Alliance for Women in Media, a board member of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism, a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Association of Black Journalists.


For more than 150 years, Hampton University has been THE Standard of Excellence in higher education. Founded in 1868 by Brig. Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, Hampton University has a long successful history of offering a strong academic program of educating the “head, heart and hand” and emphasizing the development of character. This foundation has been built upon by Dr. William R. Harvey who has served as Hampton’s president for 44 years. Under his leadership, the university has experienced accelerated growth and achieved notable accomplishments, including building a Proton Center, operating a NASA program, AIM, the first satellite mission dedicated to the study of noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds. During Harvey’s presidency, 92 new programs have been introduced, 31 new structures dot the landscape of the campus surrounded three sides by water, and the university’s endowment has grown from $29 million to $400 million and growing.

For more information contact: Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications Dean Julia Wilson, 757.637.2018, Julia.wilson@hamptonu.edu


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