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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest alumnus Michael Dunlap died unexpectedly of an aneurysm at his home in Lawrence, Kan., last summer, and his friends are establishing a scholarship in his memory.

Northwest alumnus Michael Dunlap died unexpectedly of an aneurysm at his home in Lawrence, Kan., last summer, and his friends are establishing a scholarship in his memory. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Advancement)

April 29, 2011

Sudden passing sparks creation of scholarship

MARYVILLE, Mo. - The unexpected death of a Northwest Missouri State University alumnus and former member of the University's Tower yearbook editorial staff has prompted classmates and colleagues of Mike Dunlap to establish a scholarship in his memory.

Dunlap, a 1989 Northwest graduate and a journalism teacher at Blue Valley West High School in Kansas, died Aug. 2 at the age of 44. His high school students routinely excelled at state and national journalism and yearbook competitions, and just months before his death, he was recognized as one of seven individuals named to the 2010 class of Kansas Master Teachers.

Dunlap also was chairman of the mass communication department and program facilitator for journalism for the Blue Valley Unified School District, served as a yearbook consultant, instructed seminars for high school yearbook workshops and was on the faculty of summer journalism workshops for several universities.

"Mike influenced generations of journalists - starting with his classmates at Northwest," said Kevin Fullerton, a 1988 Northwest alumnus and a former member of the Tower staff. "He was a tremendous writer, tireless worker and strong leader. He set high standards for himself and helped others go beyond what they believed they were capable of achieving - including me.

"Even after graduating, Mike's dedication to Northwest and the Tower yearbook continued. I was fortunate enough to teach with my good friend at conferences over the years and witness his impact on students. It was truly inspiring. This scholarship is the perfect way to ensure Mike's influence continues for years to come."

The Dunlap Scholar Award will be awarded to a Tower yearbook student who is on the publication's editorial board. The recipient must have a minimum 2.75 GPA, and a mentor will also be assigned to each award recipient for a year. A minimum $500 scholarship will be awarded each year, and $12,500 is needed to endow the scholarship for perpetuity.

"I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to Mike than a Tower yearbook scholarship," said 1990 Northwest alumna Cara Moore Dahlor. "We served three years together on the Tower editorial staff, and although technically a student himself, he taught us all a great deal."

For more information about this scholarship or other giving opportunities, contact Polly Howard at pollyh@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1248.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468