Pictured: Courtney Harvey and Geoffrey Harvey

The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication remains dedicated to student success and creating the next generation of communication leaders and innovators. We value the generosity of alumni and friends who donate their time and monetary gifts to support Murrow students. This month, we want to recognize and thank Geoffrey Harvey, a ‘74 Murrow graduate who is establishing the Geoffrey L. and Courtney L. Harvey Endowed Broadcast and Media Production Scholarship with his daughter Courtney Harvey (Murrow College ‘05) for Murrow Journalism and Media Production students.

About Geoff Harvey

After graduating from WSU, Geoff spent 12 years in broadcasting as a program director and on-air personality for radio stations in Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities. He then transitioned his career to media and public relations, working for a national scientific laboratory in southeastern Washington. Whether writing news releases, collaborating with scientists to prepare technical fact sheets, providing voice-over production for videos or developing the lab’s risk communications plan, Geoff credits much of his success to his early Murrow experience.

Today, Geoff resides in Kennewick, Washington and has a proud family of Coug alums, including his wife Penelope (Carson College of Business ’75), daughter Courtney (Murrow College ’05) and son Brent (Fine Arts ’10). He hopes to continue building professional opportunities throughout the region for Murrow students and graduates through networking events, informational meetings, and now, he looks forward to supporting students with the Geoffrey L. and Courtney L. Harvey Endowed Broadcast and Media Production Scholarship.

We spoke to Geoff about his recent endowment and what motivates him to support Murrow College.


What inspired you to set up the Geoffrey L. and Courtney L. Harvey Endowed Broadcast and Media Production Scholarship?

GH: “I believe giving scholarships to students is truly important. When I think about the reasons ‘why’, a few things come to mind:

Financial Barriers

“There’s no surprise that loan debt for students is on the rise. The cost of college continues to go up, which means student loans continue to increase. This debt can seriously impact the lives of students and can last for years to come. By providing student scholarships, we can lessen that burden for our students.”

Paying It Forward

“I believe scholarships can make a huge difference for students in need. It’s my understanding that difficult financial issues are the number one reason students are forced to drop out of college. Many times, the need to work long hours while taking a full-load of classes to help pay tuition, room and board, books and other essentials pose an insurmountable challenge. When I was a Murrow student at WSU, I was basically broke. I spent my summers working in a grocery store to pay for college. Then as a student in Pullman, I stocked grocery store shelves from ten at night until seven in the morning. After a while the grind was just unsustainable. But during that time I was fortunate enough to receive a small Murrow scholarship. It meant an awful lot to me, both financially and by giving my confidence a huge boost.

Other factors prompting Courtney and me to establish our gift were three scholarships she received at WSU while seeking her degree in broadcasting – the Katy Whitworth Estate Scholarship, a Washington State University Achievement Scholarship, and the Washington State Association of Broadcasters Scholarship. After graduation, Courtney worked as a news reporter at KVEW-TV in Kennewick for 18 months. Her Murrow College education and experience eventually led her to NBC/Universal in Los Angeles as a producer for E! News from 2014-2019.”

Importance of Higher Education

“We need a better-educated America. The benefits of getting a higher education go well beyond future financial gains for students. Graduates are more likely to be active citizens, lead healthier lifestyles, spend more time with their kids, and eventually give back to their communities. The beauty of helping students through awarding scholarships is the possibility that they could ultimately affect entire families, which could lead to stronger communities and overall, a stronger nation.

I think getting a degree from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU is quite an achievement. It sets the course for an impressive career in communications. It was instrumental for me. Over the years, I experienced two different careers, one being twelve years in radio and another thirty years in media relations and public affairs. The scholarship I received as a student, however small, was still really important to me. I say let’s give those students a helping hand. It could be the one significant measurable that helps a student – particularly a student in need – get their degree and launch them into a successful and fulfilling career in communications. We all win when students earn and are awarded scholarships.”

Is there anything specific about this next generation of students that prompted you to start this endowment?

GH: “Particularly now-a-days, we’re at a crossroads where the journalist’s message must not only be informative, but their credibility, honesty and trustworthiness is paramount. I believe that earning a degree, particularly at WSU through the Murrow College, is extremely valuable and truly something of which to be proud. I always felt that if I was able to contribute to a sustained scholarship that could help at least one student per year and help them rocket off that launch pad and into an exciting career in communications, I would do it. Now, I’m fortunate enough to be able to make that happen. I think there are some budding Edward R. Murrows out there that have yet to develop their skills. Who knows, Murrow scholarships may be the keys that provide these students a chance to make a big difference in the way America and the world communicates.”

To learn more about how you can support Murrow College students, click here.