University of Virginia: Award-Winning Journalist Katie Couric To Create Blue Ridge Scholarship


A$1 million gift from award-winning journalist Katie Couric will create the Katie Couric Blue Ridge Scholars Fund at the University of Virginia.

UVA President Jim Ryan announced the gift Friday during a reception at Alumni Hall. Couric was in town for a public event as she and the president discussed her life and career, including her media company, Katie Couric Media; her book, “Going There”; and her breast cancer advocacy. Several hundred people attended the sold-out event, either in person or as part of a livestream.

Thanks to funds earmarked for the Blue Ridge Scholars program by Ryan in December 2020, the scholarship will be matched at 100%, for a total investment of $2 million. The scholarship will reflect Couric’s commitment to fostering success for extraordinary students, including those from areas who currently have limited access to higher education or who have faced adversity.

“Katie Couric is an outstanding UVA alumna who is as generous as she is successful,” Ryan said. “Her gift to establish a Blue Ridge Scholarship will open our doors wider for students who otherwise might not have had the chance to study at UVA. I’m incredibly grateful not only for this gift, but also for her friendship and ongoing support for her alma mater.”

The Blue Ridge Scholars program was created in 2014 with a $4 million challenge gift from John Griffin, a 1985 graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce. Support is directed to undergraduate students with exceptional academic promise and significant financial need. A total of 463 students have received Blue Ridge Scholarships to date.

“I’m grateful to Ms. Couric for her vision and her generosity, and most of all, for her faith in our students,” Stephen Farmer, UVA’s vice provost for enrollment, said. “Her scholarship will help extraordinary students find their way to Grounds, thrive while they’re with us, and help everyone around them be their very best.”

Couric is a 1979 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences. A veteran news professional, she has served as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, the first female anchor of an evening news program with “CBS Evening News” and correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Couric is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author for her memoir, “Going There,” which was published in October 2021.

She is also a co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer. Since its launch in 2008, Stand Up to Cancer has raised more than $700 million to support cutting-edge collaborative science, and its research has contributed to nine new FDA-approved therapies.

In 2017, she founded Katie Couric Media, which has developed a number of media projects, including a daily newsletter, a podcast, a digital video series, live events and several documentaries.

“Attending UVA was such a special and formative experience for me,” Couric said. “Nothing would make me happier than helping students have the same opportunities.”