The inaugural recipient of the Iger-Bay Endowed Scholarship is sports media major Damani Madir ’24. Madir, who has been receiving remote instruction at his home in Brooklyn, NY since joining the IC community last fall, connected with Bob Iger, Willow Bay, and President Shirley M. Collado over Zoom in April to express his gratitude for receiving the scholarship. Madir shares that the meeting was incredibly meaningful.
“The meeting was a discussion between the four of us that really focused on me and my goals,” Madir shares. “Bob and Willow seemed to really care about not just where I came from, but what led me here to Ithaca College. They both really crossed the bridge to understanding who I am as a person.”
“Willow and I were thrilled to meet Damani and to hear about the personal journey that led him to Ithaca College,” shared Iger. “Not only was he deeply appreciative, but he expressed great passion for journalism and a strong commitment to learning. We are focused on improving diversity in the field of journalism by providing scholarships aimed at fostering more diversity in journalism programs at Ithaca College and other universities, and we look forward to supporting more students like Damani.”
During the meeting, Madir shared that what ultimately led him to attend Ithaca College was the close-knit feeling he experienced from the moment he began exploring IC.
“I had a chance to hear President Collado speak at one of the open houses [for accepted students],” Madir says. “The president really promoted IC as a ‘family’ in its stance on education, and that definitely resonated with me.” Madir had originally planned to study political science but decided to switch to sport media and broadcasting. “I made Ithaca my top school when I saw they have top-level programs in those majors.”
Upon being accepted to IC and receiving the Iger-Bay Endowed Scholarship, Madir raced to purchase “The Ride of a Lifetime” to learn more about Iger’s journey from local TV weatherman to one of the most powerful players in Hollywood. The book gave Madir insight into Iger’s background, which the two discussed during their April meeting.
“Despite our obvious differences, Bob really emphasized the fact that he and I were not that different from each other,” Madir explains. “We both grew up in New York City, we both came to Ithaca with a passion for media...It really made me come to appreciate him even more, knowing we have more similar backgrounds than I had previously thought.”