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]

Scholarship to honor A.R. ‘Dick’ Elam

The Friends of The Daily Texan is creating a scholarship to honor the memory of A.R. “Dick” Elam, who passed away in 2023 after a long career in journalism and journalism education. Elam served as editor of The Daily Texan, was a small-town newspaper owner in Texas, and taught journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a member of the inaugural class of The Daily Texan Hall of Fame.

Dick Elam at the Daily Texan editor’s desk in 1949-50

The initial goal for the Elam Scholarship Fund is an endowment of $75,000. A total of $37,500 has already been committed. The board of the Friends of The Daily Texan provided $12,500 in seed money for this fund, and an anonymous donor has committed $25,000.

In addition to the $37,500 already committed, David Powell, Texan editor in 1972-73, will match all gifts on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a total of $25,000. So, each donor can double his or her gift through this match. As an example, your contribution of $500 will be worth $1,000.


Eligibility and Criteria

The Elam Scholarship will be awarded annually to a staffer who has made a significant contribution to The Daily Texan and seeks a career in journalism or journalism education.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a full-time student in good standing at the University; maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average; have completed two semesters on the staff of The Daily Texan; and serve on the staff of The Daily Texan during the year for which the scholarship is awarded.

The selection committee may award one or two Elam Scholarships per year, depending upon the availability of funds and the number of eligible and deserving applicants. The scholarships shall be in the form of outright cash gifts.


How to Contribute

Tax-deductible contributions to the Elam Scholarship Fund may be made directly to the Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc., or by mail at Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc., P.O. Box 8383, Austin, TX. 78713.

Contributions or gifts of securities may also be made by contacting John Reetz, President of Friends of The Daily Texan at [email protected] or [email protected]. For questions about donations of securities, you may contact John Brejot, Director of Development, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, at [email protected].

All contributions should specify that the donated funds are earmarked for the Friends of The Daily Texan and the Elam Scholarship Fund. All moneys collected will be held in trust as permanent endowment funds and be managed by UT Development pursuant to that certain agreement entitled “Daily Texan Student Achievement Award.”

Dick Elam campaigns for Texan Editor position, spring 1949


About Dick Elam

Dick Elam served as editor of the Daily Texan during 1949-1950, and under his leadership the newspaper won All-American honors from the Associated Collegiate Press. It was a tumultuous period, and Elam’s Texan served as a bridge to modern times by addressing issues that are still relevant.

The central domestic issue facing the nation was civil rights. In Austin, segregated movie theaters were picketed. The University and Texas public schools were segregated. The Texan gave prominent coverage to this historic social struggle. On the editorial page, Elam’s Texan branded “separate but equal” a sham and denounced “the evils of segregation.” The Texan called for racial integration at UT and in public schools. When Elam’s editorials were denounced, his response was defiant: “We personally feel that the worst denouncement would come should history show our efforts to extend education had not been militant enough!”

Academic freedom was a pressing issue. UT had been blacklisted by the American Association of University Professors in response to the Board of Regents’ politically motivated firing of President Homer Rainey in 1944. The Legislature sought to impress prevailing political views on the campus by requiring UT employees and students to sign a loyalty oath. Employees who did not sign were fired, and students who did not sign were dismissed. Elam’s Texan attacked the loyalty oath as a violation of freedom of thought, calling it “no more than salve for the hysteria that the uninformed masses have adopted as an everyday form of thought.”

Friends of Texan Dinner in 2013, visiting with former Texan editor David Powell

After graduation in 1950, Elam and his UT roommate Fred Barbee owned and published small-town newspapers in Texas, including the El Campo Leader-News, the Wharton Journal-Spectator, the Edna Herald, and the Ganado Tribune. They also owned a radio station and installed cable TV in El Campo.

As a teacher, Elam illustrated various points to his journalism students by using an example that he called “Fred the Printer”—his business partner and friend.

Elam earned his master’s degree from UT in 1968 and his doctorate from UNC in 1972. He served on the faculty of UT’s Journalism School until 1977, when he joined the UNC faculty. He served there until his retirement. Based on his life achievements, Elam in 2013 was inducted into The Daily Texan Hall of Fame.



Elam receiving Daily Texan Hall of Fame Award from Cliff Avery at 2013 Friends of The Daily Texan dinner
Dick Elam receives Hall of Fame award from Cliff Avery at 2015 Friends of Daily Texan dinner.