The Ann Devroy Memorial Fund supports an event and student fellowship dedicated to the memory of Ann Devroy, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate and respected journalist often described as one of the best reporters ever to cover the White House.
The fund was started by Devroy's family and colleagues at The Washington Post after she died of cancer in 1997 at the age of 49. Their generosity supports the Devroy Fellowship, which provides a scholarship and a three-week stint at The Washington Post, as well as eligibility to apply for a paid summer internship at a Wisconsin daily newspaper. It also supports the Devroy Forum, which annually brings journalists of national prominence to UW-Eau Claire.
Devroy Forum speakers often spend time on campus and in classrooms before delivering an address that is free and open to the public. With the incredible opportunities given to journalism students through the Ann Devroy Memorial Fund, our faculty is proud to house the Ann Devroy Memorial Forum and Fellowship.
Ann Devroy was the toughest and fairest White House reporter I knew. She knew when she had a story, and she knew when to kill one. She revered the office of the presidency and the role that reporters play in keeping it honest.
History of the Forum
Ann Devroy often served as a mentor to other journalists, so in 1998 those who knew her best decided the best way to honor her memory was to give young journalists a chance to follow in her footsteps. Since she got her start at UW-Eau Claire, it was here her family and friends decided they could be of most help.
"We wanted to do something education related and decided that the best way to ensure the 'Ann-ness' of it was to house it at UW-Eau Claire."
Shortly after Devroy's death, Doug Kaiser, a 1968 UW-Eau Claire alumnus and friend of Devroy, contacted UW-Eau Claire with a suggestion of establishing an internship program with The Washington Post in Devroy's name. Coleman, a Wisconsin native and a graduate of the UW-Milwaukee himself, helped UW-Eau Claire design the fellowship, won a commitment from The Washington Post for an annual winter fellowship in the newsroom and raised tens of thousands of dollars. He recruited prominent Post journalists to speak at the Devroy Forum.
When the fund was established, Mark Matthews, Devroy's husband, said it was important to him that those benefiting from the dollars have an interest in journalism —the career that meant so much to Devroy. But, he said, recipients should also have the same spirit and love of life that Devroy possessed.
While still an undergraduate student, Devroy worked full time at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. She was eager to start her career but also needed the money for school, Matthews said, adding that he hopes the fund will ease the financial burden on others with similar backgrounds.
In 2003, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation received a challenge grant of $20,000 from the Philip Graham Fund to encourage additional giving to the Ann Devroy Memorial Fund.
The challenge grant resulted in several gifts, the largest of which was a $25,000 gift from George Stephanopoulos, who was senior adviser to President Clinton when Ann Devroy was The Washington Post's top White House correspondent. The gift was Stephanopoulos' second contribution to the Devroy Fund. He also was among the initial contributors when the fund was created and praised Devroy's contributions to journalism.
In testament to Devroy's impact on journalism and outstanding life, her friends and colleagues continue to honor her memory through contributions to this fund 10 years after her death. The fund has a current balance of more than $127,000 and benefits from consistent and generous support. The goal is to increase the endowment to $250,000.
Want to make a donation to the next Devroy fellow?
All of the money given is used to support the Ann Devroy Fellowship and covers the expenses of the annual Devroy Forum. There are many ways to support the Ann Devroy Fund.
- Outright contribution
- Gifts of securities (stocks, bonds)
- Planned gifts that will be available well into the future
- Matching gifts from your and/or your spouse's employer