Brigham Young University's department of communications will receive an endowed scholarship fund of $700,000 in memory of a broadcast executive and United States diplomat.
The scholarship honors the late Mark Evans Austad, who died in Arizona in 1988. His widow, Lola G. Brown Austad, of Scottsdale, Ariz., established the fund, which is a trust that will go to BYU after her death.Lola Austad said the fund is to aid deserving students who show a desire to learn and to serve society. It will be available annually to communications majors who maintain a 3.0 grade point average or better, are committed to complete their education and are committed to the university's moral code.
David P. Forsyth, department chairman, said, "Mrs. Austad's most generous gift will permit many talented and deserving students throughout the world to take full advantage of BYU's excellent, nationally recognized communications programs in the years ahead. For this we are deeply grateful."
A native of Ogden, Mark Austad attended Weber State College and served a mission to Norway for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He took his first job in broadcasting in 1941 at KSL radio in Salt Lake City before serving in the military.
After the war, he worked for WWDC in Washington, D.C. He then moved to CBS radio and television station WTOP as the moderator for "Sunrise Salute," a program formerly hosted by Arthur Godfrey. This was the beginning of a 20-year affiliation with CBS in the nation's capital.
In 1960, Austad moved to Metromedia as vice president of public affairs. Meanwhile he continued as moderator and anchor on various programs, including his own "Mark Evans Show."
He was a U.S. representative to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1973, ambassador to Finland, 1974-77, and ambassador to Norway, 1980-1984.
A charter member of the National Communications Advisory Board of the BYU department of communications, Austad was especially valued for his contributions on international media and First Amendment rights, Forsyth said.