BOSTON UNIVERSITY AND WRKO ANNOUNCE SCOLARSHIP FUND DRIVE TO HONOR TALK RADIO PIONEER JERRY WILLIAMS
Family of “The Dean of Talk Radio” sets scholarship for communications student
(Boston, Mass.) — Boston University announced today an endowed scholarship fund is being created in the name of Jerry Williams, the Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster who pioneered the talk radio format over a 50-year career, mostly in Boston. Initiated by the Williams family, the scholarship will go to an incoming student at BU’s College of Communication. Known as “The Dean of Talk Radio,” Williams died April 29 in Boston, three weeks after suffering a stroke. He was 79.
“To honor the profound impact Jerry Williams had in giving talk radio its influential voice, and recognize his long affinity to this region, his family asked that this scholarship be created to train future broadcast professionals at Boston’s premier communications school,” said Dr. Christopher Reaske, BU vice president for Development and Alumni Relations.
The scholarship fund drive is being coordinated by veteran Boston TV and radio newsman and long-time Williams colleague Ted O’Brien, now a member of the Boston University development team, in partnership with Boston radio station WRKO-AM, where the political muckraking Williams ruled the airwaves during the 1980s and early ‘90s. Contributions can be made to The Jerry Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund, care of Boston University, College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, attn: Stephanie Trodello.
Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1996, Williams launched his career in 1946 in Tennessee. He worked in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois before an eight-year run on WBZ-AM in Boston starting in 1968. After stints in New York and Philadelphia, he joined WRKO in 1981 for a decade and a half, during which he popularized and helped drive the explosive growth in the political power of talk radio nationally. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Williams resided in Marshfield, Mass. He leaves three daughters and four grandchildren.
Boston University, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 in its 17 schools and colleges, is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. The BU College of Communication consists of three departments: Journalism; Film and Television; and Mass Communications, Advertising and Public Relations.
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