The Melcher Family Award for Excellence in Journalism annually recognizes an undergraduate writer at Duke University for the best journalistic piece produced in the previous year. A cash award of $1,000 is presented at an awards dinner held in conjunction with the Futrell Award, which honors a Duke alum in the field of media and communications.

Richard Melcher, (Duke, 74) is co-founder and principal of Melcher + Tucker Consultants, a strategic consulting firm based in Chicago. Prior to founding the firm, he was a writer and chief of the London and Chicago bureaus of Business Week. He has maintained close ties to the Sanford School and the DeWitt Wallace Center, and fondly recalls his years working on The Chronicle. This award represents his commitment to student journalism that is thoughtful, well documented and well presented.

How to apply:

  • Eligibility: Any journalistic piece published by an undergraduate Duke student during the previous year (January 1 to December 31)
  • Submissions may be sent by e-mail to Shelley Stonecipher. Please include a link to your piece, and in the text of the email message include current contact information (email, address) and the title, source and date of publication.
  • You may also (but are not required to) send a hard copy if you would like, to: Shelley Stonecipher, Sanford School of Public Policy, Box 90241, Room 141.
  • The deadline for submissions is January 31, although candidates are encouraged to send their pieces at any time before that date.

For questions about the award, please contact: Shelley Stonecipher.

Answers to FAQ:

All forms of journalistic media are eligible and encouraged, including blogs and broadcast news.
All focus areas are eligible, including Arts, Sports, OpEd, etc.
Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are all eligible.

The Melcher Awards committee is comprised of faculty members. Professor Bill Adair heads the committee.

Awards Event
The Melcher Award is presented at an awards dinner in the spring, together with the Futrell Award. The awards dinner includes student journalists and alumni in the fields of media and communications. The Melcher Award recipient may invite close family members to the event. If the award recipient has graduated at the time of the awards dinner, we will cover travel expenses for the award winner to return to campus.