The LSU Manship School of Mass Communication received a gift from Michael J. Danna’s estate to fund a scholarship for talented student writers. The gift was matched by Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation’s “This Week in Louisiana Agriculture,” a television show that Danna hosted for many years.
Danna, who died of cancer March 6, 2106 at age 54, was a 1983 graduate of the Manship School and former Reveille reporter. He was a lifelong supporter of the school, serving eight years on the Alumni Board and volunteering for many other committee assignments and projects.
In addition to his television reporting, Danna was a contributing writer to numerous news and farm publications, including The Advocate, Mid-South Farmer and Progressive Farmer magazines. In 2011 the Public Relations Association of Louisiana named Danna “Communicator of the Year,” one of many awards he received throughout his career in communications.
Jim Monroe, assistant to the president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation said, “Mike Danna loved the Manship School and loved journalism. He wanted the School’s tradition to continue, and that’s why he felt so strongly about establishing the scholarship.”
Danna valued service to his alma mater, and in 2009 through the generosity of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, established an annual award to honor a Manship student who performed outstanding service in the School. The next year he established a LFBF award to honor an outstanding Manship School alumnus each year.
On October 22, Danna was inducted posthumously into the Manship School Hall of Fame. Learning of the planned induction just hours before he died, he told his wife Rene’e, “now my life is complete. “
Rose Velasquez, deputy news editor of The Daily Reveille, was the first to receive the Michael J. Danna “This Week in Louisiana Agriculture” Scholarship. Following in Danna’s footsteps, she is a leader in LSU Student Media.
In addition to the gifts from the Louisiana Farm Bureau and Michael Danna’s estate, many private contributions have been made to the fund in Danna’s memory. Donations may be made online or by check to the LSU Foundation, with Michael J. Danna TWILA Scholarship in the notation line. Please send checks to LSU Foundation, 3838 West Lakeshore Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Online contributions may be made at www.lsufoundation.org by clicking on Memorials under the Giving tab.