March 31, 2023

A Commitment to Students

While early efforts were aimed at attracting professionals to the ranks of INBA, the organization has long been supportive of student needs. Alan Morris, a student at the University of Illinois, received the first INBA scholarship in 1963. The $200 scholarship was named after INBA’s first executive secretary, Don Brown. Scholarships at that time were rotated among the U of I, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Northwestern.

Today, the INBA offers four college scholarships to students who either reside in Illinois or attend a school in the state or bordering markets. The stipends are based on financial need, ability, commitment to the industry, academic performance and a personal interview. The scholarships are named in honor of six long-time INBA members – Don Brown, Ed Brown, Bill Miller, Larry Wilson, Fred “Fritz” Sorenson and Mary McAndrew – and are rotated by name for the four annual awards.

The scholarships were paid from the general fund up until 2004, when INBA received its first payment from the INBA Foundation. This 501(c)3 organization received IRS recognition on April 4, 2003. A seven-member board of directors operates the Foundation independently, with proceeds from investments dedicated to the cost of the INBA scholarship program. INBA members contributed more than $50,000 through auctions during the 1990s in order to fund the initial Foundation investment. Investments now total more than $300,000. The Foundation Board solicits new contributions from donors as well as managing the investment portfolio.

Students at SIU-Carbondale formed the first Students in the Illinois News Broadcasters Association, or SINBA chapter in 1984. SINBA chapters at a half-dozen universities are now active. The SINBA chapters each year enter a student awards competition conducted by the INBA with awards given at the spring convention.

INBA has a tape critique service for students, where professionals review news stories with students.

Read more on our history: