Creating the John N. Grigsby Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Toledo provides a fitting tribute to the late journalist who epitomized the best of his profession. The endowed fund will provide annual scholarships to the three top editors at the campus newspaper, now known as the Independent Collegian. Scholarships will be awarded for the first time this fall to the paper’s editor-in-chief, managing editor, and news editor.
Mr. Grigsby retired from The Blade in 1989, after a half century with the paper. He died on Jan. 13, 2011, at age 96. He said more than once that he got his diploma from UT but his education at the campus newspaper, where he was editor in 1935 and 1936, when the paper was known as the Campus Collegian. A long-time supporter of UT and its campus newspaper, Mr. Grigsby told his family he wanted to contribute financially after his death.
The day after he graduated in 1936, Mr. Grigsby started at The Blade. His tenure, interrupted only by a stint in the Navy during World War II, seems incredible in an era of job hopping. He covered nearly every beat at the newspaper and practically slept with a police scanner to stay informed of news.
Mr. Grigsby wasn’t a celebrity journalist: he was a consummate gentleman and a reporter’s reporter, a crackerjack who got all the facts and got them right. John Robinson Block, The Blade’s publisher and editor-in-chief, said he couldn’t remember the paper having to run a correction for any of his copy.
Dedicated to the end, Mr. Grigsby wrote three stories on deadline on his last day at The Blade.
With $110,000 from life-insurance proceeds, the scholarship fund was fashioned by Mr. Grigsby’s son, Richard, and Richard’s mother, Margaret, after they met with Dan Saevig, UT’s associate vice president of alumni relations.
“Mom always said that was Dad’s money, not ours,” Richard said.
Now Mr. Grigsby’s dedication and professionalism have an enduring legacy in helping to shape tomorrow’s journalists. They can best thank him by carrying out their work with the same honor he did.