Jandoli School alumnus establishes scholarship in honor of George Floyd

photo: Tony Lee

By Jeff Uveino

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication will award a new student scholarship beginning in 2021, with the creation of the George Floyd Memorial/The Intrepid Scholarship. 

Tony Lee, a 2013 Bona’s graduate and founder of The Intrepid, established the scholarship in response to Floyd’s death on May 25, and the movement that has resulted from it. 

“The date itself has a lasting impact on me,” Lee said. “I wanted to have a lasting impact and make this not just a moment in time that we remember in history, but have a profound impact.” 

The scholarship will be awarded based on academic merit and financial need, and will be received by a Jandoli student who is Black, indigenous or a person of color (BIPOC).

“I wanted to empower and provide effort to the next generation of journalists,” Lee said. “There is such an important need for communicators. People who can do it in an articulate and unbiased way, and also be able to report facts without any fear of retaliation or public outcry.”

Lee, who works at STARZ as its paid director of social, recalled some of the classes that he took during his time at SBU, and how the Jandoli school not only prepared him for a career in media, but shaped the way that he viewed the field.

“One of the most important things I learned at SBU is that you don’t need to have an established platform, you already have one on your phone,” Lee said. “Whatever type of message you want to share, don’t let fear stop you from doing that.”

Of the $5,250 donated (as a tribute to the day Floyd died), half will be awarded during the 2020-21 academic year in the form of an annual scholarship, and half will be awarded as an endowed scholarship that the school plans to give each year moving forward.

Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli school, said he was grateful for Lee’s desire to make an impact. He also stressed the importance of diversity among communicators.

“(Lee) reached out and said that this is something he could do that could really bring positive change for people, particularly those from underrepresented groups,” Chimbel said. “One of the challenges of systemic racism is educational opportunities. I think it’s really important that newsrooms and communication companies have a diverse pool of candidates to choose from, and a diverse workforce so that they can be inclusive of different viewpoints.” 

Chimbel stressed the importance of being able to help students afford the cost of higher education, which is a concern for many. This scholarship, he said, is just the latest example of Jandoli alumni giving back to their alma mater. 

“One of the things that distinguishes the Jandoli school is how passionate people are about it,” Chimbel said. “Some people have the financial means to give money, while others are able to mentor students and come to campus to speak. It’s really inspiring to me to see how much our alumni care about the school and want to give back, and also because a lot of them had the same done for them.”

Lee said that he was proud that he could contact SBU and quickly make the scholarship happen, and hopes that he can help a new generation of journalists get their voices heard. 

“Now is time more than ever to tell incredible stories with incredible details and historical significance,” Lee said. “I want the candidate to know that their voice not only can be heard, but should be heard.” 

 

No. 1 seed St. Bonaventure (28-2) won its opening game vs. La Salle (14-17), 68-53, in the quarter final today at Saint Joseph’s Hagan Arena.

Five Bonnies scored 10 points or more vs. the Explorers — Megan Van Tatenhove leading the way with 13 on 6-of-8 shooting — en route to advancing to semifinals for the first time in program history Sunday vs. Saint Joseph’s. 

[Video by Tony Lee]

Lee-aving Nothing Behind: ‘They deserve more,’ says Crowley

By Tony Lee, Editor In Chief, @sHecKii

With a soft chuckle, coach Jim Crowley reflected on what he thought his St. Bonaventure career might have been after his 200th-career win.

“I didn’t think I’d stay here this long,” Crowley said on Dec. 7 after defeating Indiana, 65-45. “I thought people would get tired of me and move me out.”

That’s because Crowley once had a 57-119 coaching record, a winning percentage of 32.4 percent. He said he didn’t look at his record because he didn’t want to see it.

Now, all Crowley gets asked is about this season’s record and how a team picked sixth in the preseason Atlantic 10 Conference poll sits on top of the conference with a 16-2 record.

“I’m not sure people realize how good our players are,” Crowley said Saturday after winning a program-best third-straight A-10 game against St. Louis, 64-52. “They understand the value of the basketball.”

Crowley, despite his team receiving Associate Press Poll votes for a program-best fourth week in a row, answers questions about his team’s success as if he solved a century-long, unsolvable math equation.

I distinctly remember a media member saying, “I thought they were a fluke” before the coaches came in for a press conference after the 74-65 win at Temple on Jan. 11.

The Bonnies are legit, but that’s not the story.

“I’m so glad that coach gave me an opportunity to play here at St. Bonaventure,” said senior Armelia Horton, who has won a men’s and women’s basketball program-best 101 wins. 

“The coaches and the assistants,” she said, “they believe so much in the system that I just knew it wasn’t going to fail.”

That system, one Crowley admitted derived from when his back was against the wall, has not only changed the women’s program, but NCAA Division I basketball, too.

“We were in a situation in a few years ago where we it was the last of three-straight one-year deals — and there was new people coming in,” Crowley said of him and his staff. “If we didn’t have success and show progress, I was going to have to find a new career.”

But Crowley, who received a three-year extension prior to this season, didn’t just create a system.

The coaches believe. The players trust. The team wins.

“They’ve always been for real,” said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza on Jan. 11. “And most of the guys on their team weren’t recruited by a lot of schools, but they know that. And (Crowley) puts it into their heads. (He) has some workhorses that want to show everybody that have something to go out and prove to everybody. And that’s why they are so good.”

At their own school, NBA-prospect Andrew Nicholson and the men’s team out shadowed the women’s team. 

Despite making three-straight Women’s National Invitation Tournaments, the women’s basketball team averages around 600 attendees per game.

St. Bonaventure faces Richmond (14-3, 2-1) today at 7 p.m. The teams with the best A-10 records kick off the first basketball game since winter break at the Reilly Center.

Saturday’s game against St. Louis drew 479 people at the RC — but it’s far less than the 3,317 the men’s game had last Wednesday.

“I saw a lot of new faces there, which was really good,” Crowley said. “Obviously we’d like more — we appreciate all that come — but they deserve more, but we’re thankful for the ones that come. We just hope people try to find reasons to come than reasons not to.”

As long as the players continue to believe, Crowley and the Bonnies will see my mug on press row or in the stands consistently.

I’m obviously a believer. Now what about you? 

http://www.tumblr.com/audio_file/the-intrepid/15889051416/tumblr_lxulp3n2Tg1qegdcd?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Senior Armelia Horton, who achieved a program-best 101st career win Saturday, gave The Intrepid an exclusive interview after St. Bonaventure (16-2, 3-0) defeated St. Louis (6-12, 0-3), 64-52, at the Reilly Center.

http://www.tumblr.com/audio_file/the-intrepid/15345344574/tumblr_lxbxba8vFn1qegdcd?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

“I enjoy being the underdog. I like being overlooked. I’m OK being picked sixth.”

After missing the last three games and four out of the last five with concussion-like symptoms, senior Megan Van Tatenhove returned to the court Tuesday in a 67-63 victory against Sacred Heart. 

Despite going 1 for 4 and missing both her free throw attempts, Van Tatenhove grabbed a key rebound with under a minute that sealed a program-best 13th non-conference win. 

Van Tatenhove gave The Intrepid an exclusive interview about her health, the Atlantic 10 Conference and the state of the Bonnies.

http://www.tumblr.com/audio_file/the-intrepid/15325467323/tumblr_lxb170mmOE1qegdcd?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Chris Johnson scored six out of the last eight St. Bonaventure baskets to close out George Washington in its Atlantic 10 Conference debut. 

Johnson, a transfer from Kilgore College (Texas), finished the game with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting (1-of-2 from three), 4-of-4 free throws, three rebounds and a steal.

The junior forward gave The Intrepid an exclusive interview after the game.

Column to follow soon.