Don Oliver Scholarship

A new scholarship established in memory of former NBC News correspondent Don Oliver will benefit an aspiring journalist at the University of Montana School of Journalism.

Oliver graduated from UM in 1958 with a degree in Radio-Television. The Billings native rose to prominence as a correspondent for NBC News covering important events of the 1970s and 80s. Oliver died earlier this year.
 
Several of Oliver’s friends and family, including his wife Shirley and daughter Cherie Ash, set up a scholarship in his honor at the School of Journalism. 
 
The scholarship recipient will be a sophomore, junior or senior in journalism with a 3.0 GPA or higher who plans to pursue a career in news writing. 
 
“The journalism school was important to Don his whole life,” Shirley said. She co-founded the scholarship to honor Don's memory and to reward a promising journalism student. 
 
Oliver received a number of honors throughout his life, but said he was most proud when the University of Montana honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1985. 
 
He was twice the School of Journalism’s distinguished Dean Stone lecturer and in 1998 spent a semester at the school teaching radio-television and print journalism courses.  He was the first president of the School of Journalism Advisory Council and helped raise funds for the construction of Don Anderson Hall, where the television studio bears his name. 
 
Oliver’s career began at the NBC station in Cleveland and led him around the world.  He covered presidential campaign trails, the assassination and funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., riots in Detroit and Cleveland, and wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. 
 
Upon his retirement from NBC in 1992 he worked as a media consultant for Hill and Knowlton in Los Angeles before opening his own firm, Oliver Communications. 
 
“He really did have a stellar career,” Shirley said, “He told me he had really done everything in his life he wanted to do, very few can say that.” 
 
Oliver was known as a hard-nosed, aggressive reporter, but was also legendary among his colleagues as a wisecracking, practical joker.

- posted on 11/10/13 -