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K-State Today

March 3, 2022

Schmidt Foundation announces media sales and marketing scholarships in A.Q. Miller School

Submitted by A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

A scholarship program for students interested in pursuing a career in media sales and marketing has been established in K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications by the Schmidt Foundation, a philanthropic community organization in Hays.

Known as the Schmidt Foundation Media Scholarship, the program is designed to create student interest in pursuing careers in marketing and advertising sales as they enter a competitive job market where training in media operations, audiences and selling is vital to success. Schmidt Foundation President Gary Shorman said the scholarships are representative of the organization's interest in strengthening local media in Kansas and investing in future generations of Kansans.

"Bob Schmidt was a community broadcaster from day one," Shorman said. "He understood local broadcasting's role in shaping and serving the local community."

Schmidt's career in Kansas radio began as a student at Fort Hays State. Upon graduation in 1950, he was appointed general manager of KAYS Radio in Hays, where he quickly rose to become vice president and director of the corporation that owned the station. He later purchased controlling interest and became president and CEO. Today, Schmidt's former company is known as Eagle Communications, which now owns radio stations in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, and is fully employee-owned. 

The scholarship will be administered by K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. According to school director Steve Smethers, the scholarships will be awarded to any journalism/mass communications student, any marketing student who minors in JMC, or those from any major who receive media sales experience on the sales staff of the Collegian Media Group. Smethers said applicants must have established a 3.5 GPA, and preference will be given to students who are Kansas residents and who specify media sales and marketing in their career plans. Four scholarships will be awarded for next year, and the screening will begin shortly. The scholarship awards will be made in late April. Successful applicants will receive $5,000 annually — $2,500 per semester — for their junior and senior years.

"The A.Q. Miller School has always been a leader in community media in Kansas, and being associated with the Schmidt Foundation is an important building block in our community-centered mission," Smethers said. "Bob Schmidt was the embodiment of success in local broadcasting because he understood the aspects of service that make media companies essential in communities large and small."