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Indiana University Bloomington

Undergraduate | Awards

The Department of Communication and Culture offers two scholarships during our graduation ceremony to our undergraduate majors who are juniors and of outstanding academic standing. There are no applications for these two awards; eligible students are contacted in the spring semester by the department to provide an updated resume for consideration.

The Lee Norvelle Scholarship is named after the department’s first chair in 1945, when it was the Department of Speech. Norvelle was a faculty member from 1925-1963, and his primary research area was performance. During his career, Norvelle became active in theater, notably augmenting the theater program at I.U. by founding the Brown County Playhouse in 1949 and the Showboat Majestic, a riverboat playhouse that operated on the Ohio River for six years, in 1959.  The Brown County Playhouse flourishes today. When there is a viable candidate, the Lee Norvelle scholarship is granted to one CMCL junior annually who is deserving in terms of academic excellence, as well as someone who exemplifies a theatrical or public performance dimension (e.g., theater, radio personality, public advocate, comedian, et cetera). The award is for $1,500.

The MacDowell Gilliam Scholarship is an endowment named after a student who attended the Twin Lakes High School in Monticello, Indiana, and died unexpectedly. Although preference is given to any student from that high school, the Department of Communication and Culture has funded anywhere from 2-9 $500-$1000 scholarships to juniors who excel academically (required: higher than or equal to a 3.5 GPA in the CMCL major and cumulative; preferred: faculty support) and show they are well-rounded outside the classroom, particularly in terms of exceptional volunteer service and professional development. Due to the caliber of CMCL students, this award is very competitive.

In addition, at the end of the spring semester, the Department of Communication and Culture hosts its annual IRIS Film and Video Festival in conjunction with the Brian Friedman Award. These five awards are open to undergraduate or graduate students who work on film and video production. A jury of filmmakers and media professors award entries for: Best Script, Best Cinematography, Best of Festival, and the Audience Favorite. The Brian Friedman Award honors the best film made in a class in the Department of Communication and Culture, named in memory of a film student whose life was tragically cut short in an automobile accident. For additional information, visit the festival’s websites on Facebook (link: ), MySpace (link: ), or the submission form (link:  )—or email: Winning entries receive a $100 prize, except the Audience Choice, which is an honorary award.