Crossing the Line

Journalism and electronic media grad Karen Buchsbaum enables scholarships for out-of-state students

BuchsbaumFlorida native Karen Buchsbaum (’75) wants to encourage and support students who leave their home states for college.

That’s why she her husband, Frederick, recently made an estate gift that will add financial underwriting for their already existing endowment, the Karen and Frederick Buchsbaum Scholarship in the College of Communication and Information. The scholarship provides support for out-of-state students majoring in journalism or public relations at UT Knoxville.

“I have always felt the college experience is enhanced when you have the opportunity to attend school away from home. Our hope is for the gift to help out-of-state students, as well as provide CCI a recruiting tool to attract a more diverse student population,” says Buchsbaum, who works as a public relations consultant in the healthcare industry. “When I was a young professional just starting out, a few people were extremely helpful to me. I always told myself if I was ever in a position to help students and young professionals, I would. As a result, my husband and I have elected to support our two universities with scholarship funds.”

Buchsbaum transferred to UT as a sophomore after the university she had been attending in North Carolina dropped her major. She quickly involved herself in campus culture as a staff writer for the Daily Beacon, ending up as its associate editor. She also served as an officer of Sigma Delta Chi (now SPJ) and on the Dean’s Advisory Council, attended regional and national professional conferences and was active in her sorority, Phi Mu. She has continued her association with the college by serving as a member of the college’s Board of Visitors and as a guest lecturer.

Buchsbaum has many fond memories of life at UT and wants to help other students have equally valuable experiences.

“My years at UT were a wonderful, enriching, and significant part of my life. Besides academics, I learned many life lessons through activities like conferences, internships, and the Beacon. I particularly enjoyed classes with Dr. Kelly Leiter and the late Sammy Lynn Puett. Both had a tremendous influence on me and became mentors in my post-college years. To this day, I frequently approach issues from the perspectives they taught me, and I treasure many very special memories with both,” says Buchsbaum.

“I am very grateful to Karen and Fred Buchsbaum for their continued willingness to invest in the future of the College of Communication and Information,” says Dean Mike Wirth. “The additional support their gift provides through their already existing endowment will help CCI significantly increase the quality and diversity of the out-of-state students we recruit to UT.”

Buchsbaum feels that supporting her alma mater is important to the future of society, the university, and its students.

“Without private support, many of our state and social institutions cannot be competitive or provide necessary services. Thoughtful gifts can change lives and have a positive impact on society,” she says.

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