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Corus Entertainment establishes 2 scholarships for Calgary journalism students

Troy Reeb and Doug Murphy of Corus Entertainment, MRU's Brad Clark and SAIT's Dr. Raynie Wood (L to R) hold a check on Oct. 1, 2019 at Corus Centre in Calgary. MRU and SAIT journalism students will soon have access to scholarships in the name of Peter Watts and John Himpe, respectively. Global News / Adam Toy

Journalism and broadcasting students at two Calgary post-secondary institutions will receive financial help for their studies, courtesy of Canadian media company Corus Entertainment.

Both scholarships are being named in honour of two members of Corus’ Calgary staff, who played important roles in media in the city.

Corus Entertainment is the parent company of Global News.

“We need to ensure that quality local news is sustainable in this country and it’s not just enough for us to be able to do the kinds of innovations we have to have the newsrooms of the future.

“We also have to ensure that we can have the journalists of the future,” said Troy Reeb, Corus executive vice president broadcast networks.

“So what we wanted to do was to be able to provide support for journalism education here in Calgary. We did that today with more than $32,000 in donations for scholarships at both Mount Royal and SAIT.”

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Mount Royal scholarship in broadcasting vet’s name

The Global News Peter Watts bursary, which will benefit Mount Royal University journalism students, is named after the long-time broadcaster who rose to fame during the early years of TSN.

“Corus and 770 CHQR have been tremendous supporters of our programs in our city. For example, ongoing funding we received as a result of a CRTC licence application that has paid for equipment and opportunities,” Brad Clark, MRU broadcasting and journalism chair, said Tuesday.

“This kind of opportunity is an affirmation of their career choice, which is really valuable at this stage in society when journalists are under attack all the time.

“And, at a very practical level, most of our students at Mount Royal are commuter campus students who drive to school every day and are often working part-time jobs.”

READ MORE: Longtime Alberta broadcaster Peter Watts dies at 68

Watts also hosted The Alberta Morning News on the Corus Radio Network for 20 years before passing away at the age of 68 in a Calgary hospital.

SAIT students benefit in alum’s name

Radio, television and broadcasting students at SAIT will have access to a scholarship in perpetuity named in honour of SAIT alumnus John Himpe, whose career spanned a variety of news outlets and platforms in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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“[Himpe] would have cried,” long-time friend Chris Nilghe said Tuesday. “And he would have been very proud because he always wanted to make a difference and this will make a difference.”

“He was always very encouraging of people trying to break into the media world. And he was always willing to share his knowledge and his experience with others.”

“This scholarship will actually empower our students — students that are probably managing many competing priorities, whether it’s family, trying to work or student loans, it’ll help them so that they can truly focus on their studies and bring them to the next level,” said Raynie Wood, SAIT dean of the school of information and communications technologies.

Wood said SAIT students, along with other post-secondary students, could always use more financial assistance to help with their studies.

“Education is empowerment and it gives the individuals the opportunity actually pursue education and be members of society that can help their families grow and flourish,” Wood said.

“Every opportunity a student is given is a bonus, it’s a benefit, and there’s never too many.”

READ MORE: Calgary and Saskatchewan broadcaster, traveller John Himpe dies at 38

Himpe worked in radio in Saskatchewan for 15 years before being named province-wide program director for interactive and then news talk radio for Rawlco.

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Himpe’s return to Calgary to join Global News Radio 770 CHQR was an adventure for the Yorkton, Sask., native. Himpe described the move on is blog as “a new adventure – not only from a career perspective but also from a personal one.”

Himpe died in a Calgary hospital after suffering a catastrophic brain aneurysm in January. He was 38.

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