Hellinger Winners By Year

The Mark Hellinger Award Winners

St. Bonaventure University


What is the Mark Hellinger Award?

The Mark Hellinger Award was instituted in 1960 through the inspiration and under the leadership of Jim Bishop, author, columnist and protege-biographer of Mr. Hellinger. Bishop's specific purpose is to further the course of American Journalism by commemorating Hellinger's well-known interest in aiding others professionally. It was this characteristic trait of lending a helping hand to those most in need of vocational and financial assistance that impelled Bishop to initiate an award that would similarly assist a graduating senior in journalism at St. Bonaventure University.

The Award has the purpose of recognizing outstanding academic achievement from a journalism/mass communication student, acknowledging the potential of someone who can make an impact in the field and assisting those with financial need. Like Mark Hellinger, the Mark Hellinger Award was established to foster and help develop talent while providing a helping hand.

Originally, the Award meant a $500 dollar scholarship, recogition that comes with a department's highest student award and a job offered by someone within the committee. Over time, the scholarship amount has increased and the job placement has been dropped since it was rarely invoked from winners who, for the most part, were able to find employment outside of the committee or wanted to pursue higher studies.

Who Really Was Mark Hellinger? What was his influence in journalism?

Mark Hellinger remains somewhat obscure to many, particularly in the post-Depression and World War II generation. He was a Broadway coumnist, movie producer and writer but was above all know for his charitable efforts, either financially or, perhaps more influentially, as a mentor and someone willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who asked; it was often said of him that his generosity outweighed his journalistic talent.

Hellinger made friends with such people as Bing Crosby, Humphrey Bogart and others and was sometimes called "the man nobody hates." He died at the early age of 44, and the hole he left in the hearts of his multitude of friends and associates was in part filled by the establishment of the Mark Hellinger Award to commemorate the impact he had on those around him.

Who is Eligible for the Hellinger Award?

To be eligible for the award, the candidate must be a graduating senior in the Department of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University or have graduated with a degree in Journalism at one of the two Commencements prior to the presentation of the Award.

The candidate is chosen by a Faculty Advisory Committee comprised of the President of the University, the Dean of the University, the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, the Director of Development and the Chairman of the Department of English and Journalism.

The Faculty Committee’s decision is based on the candidate’s academic record, his or her proven ability to apply skills learned while still in college and the individual's financial position. The ideal candidate thus is one who possesses an above-average academic record, has undertaken field experience in journalism in their free time, and, given an opportunity they would not otherwise have, shows promise of performing outstanding service in journalism.

The choice of the Faculty Advisory Committee is submitted to the Award Committee for confirmation.

Other Awards given at Hellinger Award Celebration: in addition to the Mark Hellinger Award that remains the focus of the ceremony, there have been a number of additional awards established:

Bob Considine Award

Douglas Edwards Award

Alumni of the Year Award

Thomas Mosser Award

For more information on these awards and the recipients, click here.