Our Donors

The Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards have received major support from leading news organization, foundations and individuals. In particular, these individuals and foundations have provided significant support to our programs:

  • Mike Wallace

    Legendary CBS newsman and University of Michigan alumnus Mike Wallace (1918-2012) was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the Knight-Wallace program, endowing an investigative reporting fellowship and donating an additional $1 million to the program. Perhaps the most precious gift Wallace and his wife Mary bestowed upon the program is the beautiful Arts and Crafts-style home, purchased in 1992. Named Wallace House in their honor, it serves as the heart of the fellowship, housing the offices for both the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards programs, as well as providing a gathering space for Fellows during their year in Ann Arbor.


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  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

    The Knight Foundation is a major supporter of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards. Thanks to the foundation’s support, six speciality fellowships have been established in business, education, law, medicine, transportation, environmental and international reporting. The Knight Foundation’s contributions have also supported fellowships for international journalists to study at the University of Michigan.

    Since 2014, the Knight Foundation has provided more than $500,000 in matching grants to the Livingston Awards to support expanded digital media efforts and outreach events for award winners. The funding is matched by the University of Michigan and provides time for the prestigious awards to build a permanent endowment.

    The Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

    For more information visit knightfoundation.org. »

  • Bertram J. Askwith and Indian Trail Foundation

    Bert Askwith (1911-2015) was a University of Michigan alumnus and longtime friend of Wallace House. He generously supported the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards.

    One of Askwith’s many gifts to both programs was the establishment of the Benny Friedman Fellowship in Sports Reporting. Friedman was the first Jewish captain of a major college athletic team and is credited with “perfecting” football’s forward pass. In June 2015, shortly before his death, Askwith bestowed a generous gift from his Indian Trail Foundation to start endowment for the Livingston Awards.

  • Jeff and Melinda Fager

    Jeff and Melinda Fager’s substantial donation helped create a multimedia editing suite at Wallace House. The facility offers the space and tools for Knight-Wallace Fellows to combine video, audio, photography, writing and editing capabilities and improve their multi-media skills.

    Jeff Fager, the Executive Producer of the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” also generously donates his time every year to meet with Knight-Wallace Fellows.

  • LaVerne Prager

    LaVerne Prager’s gift to the Knight-Wallace Fellowships helped create and endow the Karsten Prager Fellowship in International Journalism. The specialty fellowship is awarded each year to an American journalist covering foreign news and is named in honor of Ms. Prager’s late husband, Karsten Prager, who was Time International's managing editor from 1991 to 1995.

  • Dr. Gilbert Omenn and Martha Darling

    Gil Omenn and Martha Darling pledged $500,000 to the Livingston Awards. The gift goes toward an endowment to secure the program into the future.

    Omenn served as executive vice president for medical affairs and as chief executive officer of the University of Michigan Health System from 1997 to 2002. He was dean of the School of Public Health, and professor of medicine and environmental health at the University of Washington, Seattle, from 1982 to 1997. He was also associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget in the Carter administration.

    A noted conservationist, Darling is a member of the National Wildlife Federation's President's Leadership Council, which honored her contributions with its achievement award. Retired from a senior management position at Boeing, she has consulted on education policy for the National Academy of Sciences, and has chaired the boards of the Institute for Women's Policy Research and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. She is also a member of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.