Veteran AP reporter to donate $1M to Monmouth U. for journalism students

Woodrow Wilson Hall at dusk. The building was built in 1929.

Monmouth University has received a $1 million donation that will create an endowed scholarship fund for aspiring journalism students, the West Long Branch school announced on Monday.

The planned gift is from Linda Deutsch, a veteran Associated Press reporter and 1965 graduate of Monmouth who built a legendary career in journalism.

Linda Deutsch.

She will return to the campus on Nov. 11 to be honored for her achievements and donation as well as to inaugurate the office space of the student-run newspaper, The Outlook, as the “Linda Deutsch ’65 Journalism Center.” Deutsch was an editor and reporter for The Outlook from 1961 to 1965. After the celebration, she will be inducted into the Department of Communication Alumni Academy.

“Linda is not only a champion for women journalists, she is also a role model for the profession at large,” Monmouth University President Patrick F. Leahy said. “We are honored to recognize her legacy of journalistic integrity and grateful for her dedication to the field of journalism by supporting students at her alma mater.”

Deutsch, who’s been known as “the most trusted voice in court journalism,” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newswoman who’s been in the industry for more than 50 years. She’s covered some of the highest profiled cases in recent history, including the Charles Manson trial, the trial of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, and the trails of O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson.

“Monmouth has had such a transformative impact on my life and career, which is why I have decided to give back,” Deutsch said. “In a time when journalism is under attack on many fronts, I am convinced that meaningfully supporting young reporters and editors will save my beloved profession from extinction. It is my hope that the scholarship fund that has already begun helping students in a modest way during my lifetime, in addition to my bequest intention after I am gone, will allow more students to experience an exceptional education and carry on my legacy in reporting the news.”

A New Jersey native, Deutsch began her career at a local newspaper, the Perth Amboy Evening News. She then went on to work at the Asbury Park Press before moving to California and starting her career with the AP.

“This spectacular planned gift from Linda Deutsch, one of our most accomplished graduates, sends a powerful signal: Monmouth alumni are committed to making educational opportunities available for future members of the Hawk family. In this hyper-competitive market, Linda’s gift will help Monmouth continue to attract and retain top-quality students regardless of their financial means,” Jonathan Meer, vice president for university advancement, said.