Star scholarship awarded

By Chelsea Irving

A $25,000 gift has been pledged to assist students employed by The Northern Star by an anonymous NIU graduate and former Star employee.

Jerry Thompson, advisor to the Star, said, “The Northern Star Alumni Scholarship Award will award $2,500 each year to a student journalist who shows outstanding promise for a professional career in journalism.”

Thompson remembered the donor as someone who “lived, ate, slept and breathed The Northern Star” while he was there. Thompson also said this gift fulfills a longtime dream of the man, who has always hoped to be able to help out young people who were striving to become journalists.

Thompson said the donor intended for the gift to allow students to spend more time working for the paper rather than finding other jobs to help finance their education.

The winners will be announced each year at the Star’s annual spring communications banquet. This year the winner is Brian Slupski, current campus editor for the Star.

Slupski, a junior history major from Orland Park, has worked at the Star since his freshman year. He said it was an interest in writing that first directed him to seek a job at the newspaper.

Slupski began as a staff reporter, then moved to academic affairs reporter. Later he worked as higher education reporter before becoming assistant campus editor in spring of 1993.

Thompson said Slupski was chosen because he has worked hard at the Star and “has a lot of promise, not only at the Northern Star, but after.”

Slupski said the award was much needed and appreciated. He said he was “very grateful” to both the donor and Thompson. He will receive half the award this semester and the other half in the spring.

After he graduates from NIU, Slupski plans to pursue a career in print journalism.