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New scholarship honors newsman and WSU educator Ben Burns

April 14, 2013

With a standing ovation Wayne State University junior Daniel Dumas became the first student to receive the Ben Burns Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Journalism. "Today I am filled with joy and reverence," said Dumas, a member of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. "Joy for this scholarship that I am so graciously able to accept and reverence for the man we're here today to honor." Ben Burns, a longtime fixture in the journalism world and former director of Wayne State's journalism program, died in September. On Saturday, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts held a memorial in his honor and presented the scholarship, made possible by his wife Beverly Burns, an attorney for Miller Canfield, and a number of other donors. More than 50 current and former students, faculty and journalism professionals remembered the man who had an impact on everyone he met. "It's important for us as we move forward to think about the past and the legacy that people like Ben leave," said the college's dean Matt Seeger. "He left very big footprints."