A native Iowan who made a name for himself while covering the White House will be recognized today in Washington. The White House Historical Association is honoring Hugh Sidey with the creation of a scholarship in his name to be given out annually by the Greenlee Journalism School at Iowa State University.
Sidey was born into a newspaper family in Greenfield and kept up with the tradition by attending the journalism school at ISU and graduating in 1950. Sidey worked on newspapers in Council Bluffs and Omaha before joining the staff of Life magazine in 1955 and then Time magazine two years later. Sidey began covering President Dwight Eisenhower for Life in 1957, and then became Time’s political and White House Correspondent – covering American presidents for over 30 years. Sidey died in November of 2005.
Michael Bugeja, the director of the ISU journalism school, says they were pleased to learn of the scholarship. He says they received a letter from the White House Historical Society about the creation of the five-thousand dollar annual scholarship in the name of Sidey with the help of David Rubenstein, the former deputy assistant to the President during the Carter Administration. Bugeja spoke with Radio Iowa from Washington, D.C. as he prepared for the ceremony.
Bugeja says First Lady Laura Bush and former President George H.W. Bush are scheduled to host the event and give presentations. Bugeja will present the first Sidey scholarship to Fred Love, a junior from Quasqueton, Iowa. Sidey was the author of Time’s column "The Presidency" and some of his career highlights included reporting on Eisenhower during the U-2 crisis, the Kennedy assassination in Dallas and Nixon’s fall from the presidency during the Watergate scandal. Bugeja says Sidey returned to ISU shortly before his death.
Sidey was invited back to campus in 2005 as the winner of the Schwartz Award recognizing contributions to mass communications and journalism. Bugeja says Sidey gave "a marvelous talk about John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, full of inspiration and wit." The WHHA was founded in 1961 through the interest of Jacqueline Kennedy as a non-profit educational institution. The association produces historical books and television documentaries, sponsors travel grants and fellowships in cooperation with the Organization of American Historians, and has provided more than 24-million dollars to date for the preservation of the White House and the acquisition and conservation of its fine and decorative arts collection.