With support from alumni and friends, we are proud to offer five annual scholarships for our English majors.


The Peterson Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund:

The Peterson scholarship endowment was established in 1999 by Dr. Walter Henry Ott and his wife, Maxine, in honor of her father, Sigurd H. Peterson, who was a faculty member at OSU for 43 years and who chaired the English Department from 1922-54. During his career, Professor Peterson headed the Freshman Writing Program and established courses in business writing and English for Engineers. He taught the Bible as Literature as well as courses on Icelandic and Norse myth, which was his area of scholarly expertise. He founded Oregon State College’s premier literary magazine, The Lamplighter, the tradition of which continues in our own Prism student art journal. In 1949, Peterson took a chance and hired an unknown novelist out of Brooklyn, New York named Bernard Malamud, and the rest, as it is said, is history--a history you can read for yourself in the writer’s OSU Roman a Clef, A New Life. As a professor and then chair, Sigurd Peterson always put students first and worked as an advisor and organizer of extra-curricular activities even after he retired to the Oregon coast. He died there in 1963. The Otts’ generous initial gift of over half a million dollars remains to this day the largest dingle donation to the School of Writing, Literature, and Film from a private donor toward student support. The fund allows us to offer two different kinds of scholarships each year:

The first of these is an incoming Freshman Peterson scholarship awarded to the promising high school senior who has been accepted by OSU and has noted on their application the intention to major in English. Of such students, a selection of those with the highest high school GPA and SAT scores are invited each year to apply. This scholarship presently affords $5,000 a year toward tuition for the Freshman year and three years following dependent on the student’s maintaining a 3.5 or better GPA in the major and a 3.0 or better in the general course of study.

A second type of Peterson Scholarship has been traditionally awarded to a junior or senior resident full-time English major who has a 3.5 or better GPA. Through a yearly application process, the scholarship committee decides on the winner of this award as well as all of our other internal scholarships. This “internal” Peterson Scholarship provides a year’s tuition and fees for the winner, who must be a full-time major. 


The Mary Holaday Murray Scholarship in English:

The Murray Scholarship was established in 1991 by Mary Murray who was an English major at OSU. It provides up to $2,000 toward tuition for a sophomore, junior, or senior major on the basis of their extraordinary academic promise measured in part by a 3.5 or better GPA in the major.


The Raleigh Clare Dickinson Scholarship in English:

The Dickinson Scholarship was established in 1991 with an initial gift from Robert and Marjorie Clark in the name of Mrs. Clark’s father, Raleigh Clare Dickinson. At the time of their initial donation, the Clark’s tendered a challenge-match request to the Chevron Corporation, which that organization honored. Having been increased in award amount at the request of donors, this award now provides $1,000 toward tuition for a sophomore, junior or senior major on the basis of their extraordinary academic promise.


The Bernard Malamud Memorial Scholarship:

The Malamud Scholarship was established by OSU in 1986 with full support of the author’s wife Ann and his two children, Paul and Janna. The fund honors Malamud’s memory and distinguished career as a fiction writer, which began here at OSU in the 1950’s. The parameters of the award acknowledge Malamud’s time at OSU with these words: “Bernard Malamud was one of the finest contemporary fiction writers and developed his reputation while teaching at OSU. During his career at the University, he wrote and published The Natural, The Assistant, The Magic Barrel, and A New Life, all examples of the brilliant writing which earned him a Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Awards.” The award was originally created to fund a promising incoming freshman, but, at the request of SWLF, was altered in 2010 to go to resident majors. This award now provides up to four $1,000 awards toward tuition for sophomore, junior, or senior majors for excellence in the study of literature.


The Irwin C. Harris Legacy Scholarship Fund:

This award, our most recently established scholarship, was made possible by alumni and members of the family of past Director of OSU Student Media/Publications, Irwin C. Harris. The recipient of the award must be an OSU English major who is minoring in Writing, Applied Journalism, or Film. The scholarship is in part based on a selection from the student’s portfolio of work in any of these minors, and awards $1,000 toward tuition to a sophomore, junior or senior major.