Robert W. Schlater Graduate Scholarship

Scholarship Fund Type: Endowment
Scholarship Fund Established: Fall 1993; amended Fall 1996 (originally called the Robert W Schlater Graduate Assistantship in Television Production)

Scholarship Fund Description:
The Robert W. Schlater Graduate Scholarship honors Telecommunication faculty member and Department Chair Robert W. Schlater. Professor Schlater attended the University of Nebraska, where he was president of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, and received his baccalaureate in 1943. After serving in the army for three years, Professor Schlater completed his tour of duty at the close of World War II assigned to the Headquarters Berlin District.

Robert Schlater resumed his education at Columbia University where he earned a master's degree in 1948. He was a radio news writer in Rhode Island and wrote promotion and advertising for Armour and Co. in Chicago. He continued his career in the burgeoning field of television production, arriving at MSU with the reputation of a state-of-the-art producer for educational television. He arrived on campus to pursue his intense desire to teach. After receiving his Ph.D., Professor Schlater joined the Department of Telecommunication faculty in 1964, serving as Department Chair from 1970-1980. Throughout his professional career at MSU, he continued to teach, focusing on the undergraduate course in television production. His understanding and affection for undergraduate students were equally reciprocated. In 1977, the Broadcast Promotion Association honored Robert Schlater with life membership. The Schlater Studio in the MSU Communication Arts and Sciences Building is named in his honor.

The Robert W. Schlater Graduate Scholarship, through its support of graduate students, is intended to emphasize teaching undergraduate students the art and practice of television production. This Graduate Scholarship program will assist those graduate students who have demonstrated the capacity to achieve educational and professional goals, the motivation to achieve these goals and the initiative to seek opportunities to further their progress.

In 1993, Dr. Jean Schlater Kennedy established, and in 1996 amended, the Robert W. Schlater Graduate Scholarship to benefit full-time graduate students studying television production and related media arts in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Department of Telecommunication, at Michigan State University.

Whereas the award previously was intended to support a graduate assistantship, it is now for awarding a scholarship for graduate students studying in the areas of television production and related media arts.

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Worthy and capable student at Michigan State University in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences' Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media
  2. First or second year graduate student with emphasis in media arts and/or television production (or name in current usage)
  3. Interest in pursuing a career in the television production industry
  4. Strong academic background and good academic standing as determined by the Department of Telecommunication
  5. Previous industry experience. As Robert Schlater came to Michigan State University with significant industry experience, applicants with previous industry experience who meet the above criteria shall be encouraged particularly to apply for this award.
  6. Preference will be given to students who are also graduate teaching assistants in the areas of television production and related media arts.

Additional Funding Notes:
A wall plaque in the Schlater Studio will carry the name and year of each holder of this Assistantship beginning Fall Semester, 1993.

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