Glavin’s Gift

By Paula Meseroll 

November 15, 2011

In his extraordinary 37-year career as a magazine professor at the Newhouse School, few things frustrated William Glavin more than seeing talented students turn down internships due to lack of finances. So before he died of lung cancer in May 2010, he made a $100,000 gift to establish the need-based Bill Glavin Endowed Internship Fund, to prevent financial hurdles from standing in the way of learning.

The first “Glavin Grants” were awarded to magazine seniors Brittany Leitner, Yelena Galstyan and Alexandra Fretts in the spring of 2011. The funding allowed them to pay living expenses while working summer internships at magazines in New York City.

An acclaimed and beloved professor, Glavin worked at The Boston Globe and as an editor at Good Housekeeping before joining the Newhouse faculty in 1973. The author of The Art of Writing Nonfiction, Glavin won the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence Award—Syracuse University’s highest teaching honor—in 1996, the first year it was given. According to Melissa Chessher, chair of the magazine department and a friend of Glavin’s who was by his side during the last weeks of his life, Glavin commented, “Please tell people that I won’t need flowers or memorials where I’m going. If they want to do something to remember me, give to this fund and a student.”

Bill Glavin inspired giving, too. Former student Stacy Mindich ’86 made a gift to name the Glavin Magazine Lab in his honor. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, joined Glavin for the lab’s dedication.

Mindich also supports the department’s annual Bill Glavin Magazine Trip, which sends a group of magazine journalism students to New York City for three days to meet with national magazine editors.