John D. Graham Scholarship

Deadline: May 26, 2017

Award: First place $3,000; two runners-up $1,000 each

The scholarship check will be payable to the winner’s university for use on his or her behalf, and can only be used to directly fund the winner’s educational pursuits.

This scholarship is made possible by the PRSA Foundation.


You must be enrolled in a journalism program, public relations studies or courses preparing for a career in public relations, and entering your senior year of undergraduate studies in fall after the application deadline to apply for this scholarship. Judges will be looking for the following qualities:

  • Academic achievement in public relations and overall studies.
  • Demonstrated leadership.
  • Practical experience in internships, other work/service.
  • Commitment to public relations, particularly as expressed in the candidate’s statements in the application form.
  • Writing skills demonstrated throughout the application form.


The PRSA Foundation is proud to present the new electronic scholarship application process. Using the electronic application process, you only need to fill out ONE universal application. If a particular scholarship calls for more details or a writing sample, you simply attach the requested information to the specific application.

To apply for this award, submit four copies of the following materials:

  • The completed application form.
  • A letter of recommendation, no more than two pages, from either a faculty member or PRSSA Adviser.
  • No more than two additional letters of recommendation from internship employers, educators or others.
  • A one page résumé.

Make sure all materials are error free and thoroughly proofread. All application materials must be posted to the electronic application portal by May 26, 2017. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

About John D. Graham

John D. Graham, APR, Fellow PRSA, joined Fleishman-Hillard in 1966, became the firm’s president and CEO in 1974, and was named chairman in 1988. Under his leadership, Fleishman-Hillard has grown from a single office to a global team of more than 2,000 professionals that serves clients from offices in 25 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, South Africa, and Latin America. Under Graham’s direction, the firm has built a strong reputation for excellent client service and a strong company culture founded on teamwork, integrity, and personal commitment.
Graham’s industry leadership has been widely recognized over the years. In 1994, he was selected as PR Professional of the Year by the readers of PR News. In 2000, Graham became only the third agency PR executive to be inducted into the Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was named PR Professional of the Year by PRWeek, and in 2002, the University of Missouri-Columbia awarded him the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism. In 2003, Graham received PRSA’s prestigious Gold Anvil award for his personal achievements during his career and he also was given the SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Public Relations from one of the industry’s most influential publications, The Holmes Report.

In addition to his decades of active involvement in PRSA, Graham is a founder and past chairman of the Council of Public Relations Firms and a member of various other public relations organizations, including The Seminar, the Arthur W. Page Society, the Wisemen, the PRSA College of Fellows and the International Public Relations Association.

He attended the University of Missouri on both an athletic and a curator’s scholarship and graduated from the School of Journalism.

Previous Winners

2016 Winners

  • First Place: Cynthia Huasipoma, Montclair State University
  • Runner Up: Jada Culver, The University of Alabama
  • Runner Up: Alissa Sommerfeldt, Murray State University

2015 Winners

  • First Place: Taylor Shelnutt, University of Alabama
  • Runner Up: Anli Kelly-Durham, American University
  • Runner Up: Olivia White, University of Oklahoma

2014 Winners

  • First Place: Rachel Pipan, Auburn University
  • Runner Up: Lauryn Botterman, Syracuse University
  • Runner Up: Andrea Cepeda, University of Florida

2013 Winners

  • First Place: Lindsey Kudaroski, Marietta College
  • Runner Up: Kelsey Balimtas, American University
  • Runner Up: Victoria Maseda, Pennsylvania State University

2012 Winners

  • First Place: Christopher Scheitinger, Brigham Young University
  • Runner Up: Sarah Rohner, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Runner Up: Claire Miller, University of Florida

2011 Winners

  • First Place: Nicholas Hogan, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
  • Runner Up: Diana Veatch, Colorado State University
  • Runner Up: John Henderson, Otterbein University

2010 Winners

  • First Place: Sana Merchant, Southern Methodist University
  • Runner Up: Jamienne Noell Scott, Ohio Northern University
  • Runner Up: Phyllis McLemore, Oklahoma State University

2009 Winners

  • First Place: Maria Muscara, La Salle University
  • Runner Up: Lindsay E. Wuller, Vanderbilt University
  • Runner Up: Laura Palantone, University of Maryland College Park