The award was established in spring 2012 with a gift from Gail Brown Milner in memory of her husband Jay Milner, a former TCU journalism professor who died in December 2011. Gail Milner died Oct. 30, 2012, and the name change is to reflect her strong support of the program.
Gail Milner was the guest of honor at the inaugural awards ceremony in May 2012. Donna Milner Reynolds, daughter of Jay Milner and stepdaughter of Gail Milner, said, “Gail was truly excited about the distinguished awards program. She was, as Daddy was, a strong advocate of ‘the written word’ and read several newspapers everyday online.”
The endowment provides annual awards of up to $1,000 each for editor of the year, reporter of the year and best story of the year for Schieffer School journalism majors. The works should be published in TCU Student Media – TCU 360 online, TCU Daily Skiff, Image magazine and TCU News Now, the television news program.
Additional gifts have been made by Gail Milner’s family and friends since her passing.
“Gail and her family’s generosity, as well as that of friends, will continue to touch our students for years to come,” said John Lumpkin, director of the Schieffer School. “The awards program tied so many things together that involved her late husband and her.”
Gail Milner was from a Fort Worth legal and ranching family. She attended TCU and later worked at TCU in various administrative capacities. She is survived by three daughters, a sister, two stepdaughters and a stepson.
Jay Dunston Milner led an eventual life as a star high school athlete, World War II veteran in the U.S. Navy, football coach, journalist, journalism educator, raconteur for the Willie Nelson outlaw music era and novelist. He taught at TCU from 1965 to 1968.