APSE President Lisa Wilson announced in March that APSE would add its fifth scholarship available to students, named in honor of the first Black APSE president, Garry D. Howard.
Howard, who is now the Director of Corporate Initiatives at the American City Business Journals, is a member of the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame class of 2017 and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Hall of Fame class of 2019. He said he was delighted about the scholarship announcement.
“I can’t do anything but smile and know that I am getting a scholarship named after me because [Wilson] thought of it, and she wants to name the scholarship in my honor,” Howard said. “Which means she has a great deal of respect for me and what I have achieved, and that means the world to me to have my mentee look at me and say ‘I think this much of you.’”
The Garry D. Howard scholarship will be given to an HBCU student annually and is worth $1,250, although Howard believes that the number will rise.
“I think the scholarship will be matched a few times, so the person who receives it will get a good amount of money. I think because the scholarship is going to an HBCU student, I think it will be a reminder to other sports editors that diversity matters,” Howard said. “That is the best part about this scholarship. It matters to our success as an industry, with your individual papers, as a person, as a sports editor, it matters.”
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith said that Howard is a mentor and is the bridge from the younger generations to upper management in journalism.
“I definitely consider him a mentor. I found him to be an exceptional editor and somebody whose personality is incredibly relatable to the younger generation,” Smith said. “I think he was the conduit for guys from the younger generation to the editor’s desk. He saw the potential in me and knew that I would shine and believed in me, and I will always remember him for that and always be tight with him because of it.”
Wilson, the first Black woman to be named APSE president, has been a mentee of Howard for over 10 years. She said the scholarship had been in the works since she was named an executive leader by the APSE in the spring of 2018.
“I am president this year [of APSE], and I’ve been thinking of what I could do to leave my mark on APSE,” Wilson said. “Then, I thought, Garry has done so much for so many journalists in this business, and I would not be where I am today without Garry. What better way to honor APSE’s first Black president than to name one of our scholarships after him?”
Former APSE President Phil Kaplan emphasized how inclusive Howard is, especially to younger journalists.
“He treats everyone the same; It didn’t matter how small the newspaper you were from or how long you have been in the organization,” Kaplan said. “Garry treated you as an equal, and I think that was really important for the younger journalists and editors at the conferences who felt isolated. He liked talking to the young editors and journalists and letting them know to not be hesitant to reach out to him.”
Collegiate sports journalists entering their sophomore, junior or senior year in 2021 and graduate students are eligible for the scholarship. The scholarships are awarded based on academic records and financial need. The deadline to apply is June 1.