The Tim O’Brien Award for Excellence in Writing and Reporting Is Awarded to Freshman Contributor to the Setonian
Tim O’Brien ’64, an outstanding journalist for the Star-Ledger and New Jersey Law Journal, often appeared as a guest lecturer in many of Seton Hall’s journalism classes. After his death in 2005, friends and colleagues established a memorial scholarship in his name.
Caroline Findlay, a freshman majoring in communications with a concentration in journalism, is the recipient of the inaugural Tim O’Brien Award for Excellence in Writing and Reporting. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a freshman contributor to the Setonian. The 14 articles written by Findlay for the Setonian during the 2005-06 academic year secured the win.
“I have learned a lot from my experience at the Setonian, from conducting interviews and writing a variety of stories and features to working close to deadline,” said Findlay.
In addition to receiving the scholarship, Findlay made the Dean's List, campaigned for the Annual Fund, wrote for the sports page of the Setonian and volunteered for Light the Night, SHU500 and the Special Olympics.
“I am honored to be mentioned next to such a remarkable journalist, ”noted Findlay. “I hope to further my knowledge and experience in the field of journalism and this award will help to continue that education.”
Eventually Findlay wants to pursue a career in international journalism and bring coverage and justice to areas of the world that are often overlooked.
About Tim O’Brien and the Award for Excellence in Writing and Reporting
Tim O’Brien, one of New Jersey’s finest reporters and leading investigating journalist for 35 years, died in September 2005 at the age of 63. Friends and colleagues established the Tim O’Brien Award for Excellence in Writing and Reporting at Seton Hall; O’Brien graduated in1964 after majoring in business.
O’Brien combined his dedication to journalism education and his love for Seton Hall by serving as a guest lecturer in the University’s journalism classes. He was also a fervent supporter of Seton Hall Pirates men’s basketball — a season ticket holder who attended every home game and many away games.
O’Brien’s name was included, almost every year, among award winners of the New Jersey Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. His work and his personality were so revered by his colleagues that the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists created The Tim O’Brien Award, recognizing, each year, the best investigative reporting using the Open Public Records Act.
Beginning in the 1960s, O’Brien spent 15 years at the Star-Ledger where he became known as the dean of investigative journalism in New Jersey. In 1986 he was hired at the New Jersey Law Journal and became its editor in the 1990s.
“Tim O’Brien may have been the best journalist I’ve ever known in my life,” said fellow New Jersey Law Journal reporter Henry Gottlieb.
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