An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

John Pope honors Texan colleague Middy Randerson with scholarship in her name

John Pope, a UT graduate who has been a reporter in New Orleans for nearly a half-century, has provided a long-term continuing grant in honor of his Daily Texan colleague and friend Middy Randerson to underwrite a $1,000 annual scholarship for entertainment/arts and lifestyle coverage at The Daily Texan.

Randerson died in February 2020. A scholarship was established in her name that year via donations to Friends of The Daily Texan Inc., but Pope’s contribution guarantees continuing funding.

“Middy was a good friend and colleague who was steadfast in her devotion to her work and to her friends,” Pope said in making the gift. “She set a fine example for the students who will receive the scholarship bearing her name.”

Pope’s donation will enable long-term continuation of the $1,000 grant that goes to a deserving arts and entertainment staff member.

Even though Randerson was an arts and entertainment writer and editor, pigeonholing her would be a mistake. In the spring of 1970, Pope said, she was one of a group of Texan staffers who hustled to the Houston headquarters of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to cover the developments in the potentially life-threatening flight of Apollo 13. Randerson proudly kept – and displayed — her NASA press credential from that assignment for the rest of her life.

Middy Randerson

Pope, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UT, worked on The Texan as a reporter and editor for four years. After graduating in 1972, he returned to New Orleans, his hometown, where he was a copy editor and a reporter for The States-Item and The Times-Picayune, He was a member of The Times-Picayune team that won two Pulitzer Prizes in 2006 for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

He has been a contributing writer for The Times-Picayune } The New Orleans Advocate since September 2015.

An anthology of Pope’s obituaries, “Getting Off at Elysian Fields,” was published in 2015. He is a co-author of “Building on the Past: Saving Historic New Orleans,” which was published in 2019.

He is a member of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers – members call themselves Grimmies – and the Friends of The Daily Texan board.

Pope made the donation honoring Randerson for several reasons. The Texan, he said, was where he learned and honed his craft, and he is eager to do whatever he can to support its mission. This grant is a perfect fit, not only because of his friendship with Randerson but also because he has written about arts and entertainment throughout his career. (One of his movie reviews won a first place in the 1978 Press Club of New Orleans competition.)

John Pope

“John Pope’s generosity guarantees this scholarship will be a continuing source of support for a dedicated arts and entertainment staffer at The Texan,” said John Reetz, president of Friends of The Daily Texan

This scholarship is one of five endowed, continuing annual grants for a Texan staffer. One endowed scholarship is funded by former Texan staffers Becky and Jerry Conn, two endowed scholarships are funded by former Texan staffers John McConnico and Jean-Marc Bouju and one endowed scholarship is funded by Friends of the Daily Texan.

In addition there are three Friends of The Texan scholarships provided each year via donations to Friends of The Texan.

“Our donors make possible these eight grants totaling $9,000 annually,” Reetz added, “and the Texan staffers and the Friends group thank the dedicated Daily Texan supporters who have contributed, and continue to help.”