SOJ receives $50,000 to establish The Matthew T. Crosson Memorial Scholarship in Journalism

Matthew Crosson 2009

A portrait of Matthew Crosson in 2009.

The Stony Brook School of Journalism received a $50,000 gift from Elaine Crosson and her son Daniel, to establish The Matthew T. Crosson Memorial Scholarship in Journalism, which will endow a scholarship to support young journalists who wish to carry on the pursuit of public affairs journalism and advance public discourse for which the late Matt Crosson was so well known. A portion of the funding comes from donations from family and friends, and the full $50,000 will be matched by a special grant to Stony Brook University from Jim and Marilyn Simons and the Simons Foundation, resulting in an impact of $100,000. The endowment will continue to be funded with additional donations from the community.

Matt Crosson, the beloved and highly-touted former President of the Long Island Association, a title he held for 16 years, died unexpectedly on December 23, 2010 from complications following a stroke. He resigned from the LIA earlier that year and accepted a job as the Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Following his death, Elaine and Dan, who is now 14, moved back to their home on Long Island after Elaine accepted a position at Stony Brook University as Vice President for External Relations.

“It has been two years since Matt passed away and Daniel and I still miss him so much, as does the rest of his family, and so many others who knew and loved him,” said Elaine Crosson, JD, Crosson’s wife of 17 years. “Dan and I wanted to make this gift now to commemorate Matt’s legacy as a great advocate for public dialogue, and to provide others an opportunity to honor his memory.

Matt Crosson with Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward

Matthew Crosson with Bob Woodward, left, and Tom Brokaw.

“Matt was an attorney not a journalist by trade, yet his appreciation for the written word and his belief in responsible journalism was fierce, so in addition to his primary role of advancing economic development for Long Island, it was his personal mission to bring to fore the most pressing current affairs issues facing this community and all of New York by engaging some of the most relevant public figures and luminaries in our country in a personal dialogue right here in our own back yard.

The Crosson scholarship will be available to a qualifying full-time junior or senior enrolled in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, where Jim Klurfeld, Crosson’s friend and longtime co-host of the public affairs program “Cutting Edge,” is a professor.

The recipient must demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in journalism with a demonstrated interest in public affairs.  The recipient will also have the opportunity to intern at Newsday or at News 12 Long Island and Newsday.com or a special rotating internship at all three news outlets. One recipient per year beginning in the Fall 2013 academic year will be chosen by a selected committee appointed by School of Journalism School Dean, Howard Schneider.

“This scholarship will be invaluable in supporting students, year-after-year, whose passion will be to pursue reporting in the public interest,” said Schneider. “I can think of nothing more important.”

Matthew Crosson with Sean Hannity, Tim Russert and James Carville

Matthew Crosson, second from left, hosts LIA panel featuring guests Sean Hannity, Tim Russert and James Carville.

“This is not only a wonderful development for our program but wholly appropriate that it should be in Matt Crosson’s name,” said Klurfeld. “Whether he was a prosecutor, running the New York State Court system, heading the LIA or hosting a regular public affairs television show, Matt’s goal was always to find the truth.  That, of course, is also the goal of journalism.”

Ernie Canadeo, President and CEO of The EGC Group, a marketing firm based in Melville, and an Officer of the Stony Brook Alumni Association said, “This scholarship is the perfect tribute to Matt, who was the most intelligent, well-read person I have ever known. As an LIA board member, I was astounded at his passion and love of Long Island, as he tirelessly advocated for some of the region’s most difficult issues. He was truly a Long Island champion.”