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The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com are creating an endowed scholarship in the name of Republic film critic Bill Muller at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving journalism student.
Muller died Sept. 6 of kidney cancer. He was 42.
Muller, who grew up in Florida and Texas, earned a political science degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. In 1987 he got his first reporting job at the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald, where he started out as a crime reporter.
He moved from Dallas to the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where he worked for two years before joining the Republic in 1994. During his years at the Republic, he was a beat reporter, a member of the newspaper’s investigative team and, finally, film critic. He built a reputation as a tireless researcher and insightful critic who wrote with humor and gusto.
Muller’s friends and colleagues at the Republic said they wanted to do something lasting to honor Muller’s memory.
“Muller had such a varied career that a scholarship is perfect to honor him,” said Bill Goodykoontz, a good friend of Muller’s and a culture, arts and entertainment editor and writer for the Republic. “Muller’s work over the years provides plenty of good examples in so many areas of journalism. Plus, he’d get a real kick out of having a scholarship named after him.”
Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said that the scholarship will help keep not only Muller’s name, but his ideals alive.
“In many ways, Bill represents what we want our students to achieve,” Callahan said. “He was a reporter who upheld the highest standards of accuracy, thoroughness and thoughtfulness. Plus, he was just plain fun to read.
“We are proud to work with the Republic to establish this scholarship in his name.”
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the scholarship fund may send a check made out to the ASU Foundation to the Cronkite School, Arizona State University, Bill Muller Scholarship, P.O. Box 871305, Tempe, AZ 84287-1305.