One of the University’s most entertaining RISE Campaign gifts are the annual Brian Doyle Scholarships in Gentle & Sidelong Humor – $3,333.33 per student for one academic year, during which the recipients must create and publicly share a project of some sort that “brings the community together in laughter, acts as a statement that the cultural bias to cruel humor and constant irony is shallow, promotes helpless giggling, and insists gently that true humor is a weapon against violence and greed,” says donor John Beckman ’42, who began the scholarships last year with his wife Patricia, as the start of what they hope will be a renowned Humor Project on The Bluff, akin to the University’s nascent Character Project. The first three recipients, last year, were students who devoted themselves to improv comedy, humorous film, and humor on the Web. The four recipients of the scholarships (named for Portland Magazine editor Brian Doyle) for the 2013-2014 year are Katherine Hampl (who plans to organize a campus comedy week), Sara Jacobs (who plans to bring local children to campus for humorous events), Andrew Stacey (who hopes to start a comic film competition and festival), and Katy Stevens (who plans to make a hilarious promotional video over the course of the year).
The scholarships are open to any current or prospective student (there were 66 applications this year), and are awarded by the University’s financial aid office; the only requirement on acceptance is public sharing of all projects. For information on applying for the annual scholarships (there will be six next year), contact Denise Stack, development, at 8545 or email@example.com; for information on the projects, contact Brian Doyle, marketing and communications, at 7202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.