Scholarship and Celebration of Life Set for Getahn Ward

Getahn Ward

By Sandra Long Weaver

NASHVILLE, TN — A celebration of life for Tennessean business reporter Getahn Ward will be on Friday, Jan. 5 at Born Again Church from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Jam. 6 beginning at 10 a.m. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Ward, who was a Tennessee State University alumni and adjunct professor, died Saturday, Dec. 16 at his home after a brief illness. He was also an active member of the Nashville chapter of the Nashville Association of Black Journalists. He was 45.

The Tennessean in conjunction with TSU, the Gannett Foundation and the Nashville NABJ, have created a new scholarship in the name of Ward that will benefit aspiring journalists at TSU.

The Getahn Ward Memorial Scholarship, announced Dec. 21, will be awarded to a journalism student each year who meets qualifications established by the school’s Department of Communications.

The new scholarship is the first endowed scholarship in the history of TSU’s Department of Communications.

“At a time when our majors are working multiple jobs to offset the cost of a college education, this will go a long way in helping some of our best and brightest students,” Tameka Winston, who chairs the TSU Department of Communications, told The Tennessean. “This scholarship represents a man who devoted much of his life to the field of journalism and to the education and success of students at Tennessee State University.”

The goal of organizers is to raise $25,000, which would be the minimum required to establish an annual scholarship in perpetuity.

The financial value of the scholarship will be determined by how much money is raised. If the goal of $25,000 is reached, the scholarship would be $1,000 per student annually. It would increase if more money is raised.

Winston said the department is also finalizing plans to honor Ward in a way that will give him “permanent recognition” within the department and university.

Michael Anastasi, editor and vice president for news of the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee, pointed to his Ward’s service to TSU students and his tireless work in support of scholarships through NABJ.

“I can’t think of better way to honor his legacy than our community to come together and fund a scholarship in perpetuity,” Anastasi said. “Getahn, through all of us, will be making a difference in the lives of students for decades to come.”

Individuals who would like to donate are encouraged to write a check to Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37209-1561. Online donations can be made at bit.ly/getahnward.

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