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Scholarship supports ASU students, honors husband

Judy and Ed Lynn
April 22, 2013

It has been just over two years since Judy Lynn said goodbye to the man she describes as one of the most remarkable individuals she has ever known. Ed Lynn died in March of 2011, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. Judy, who earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and her Master of Arts in Communication Studies (MACS) degree from ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, chose to honor her husband’s memory by establishing the Ed and Judy Lynn Scholarship.

The first two scholarships will be awarded this fall to two students in the MACS program. This scholarship award is renewable one time, so a qualified student may receive two years of funding.

Judy Lynn spoke last fall at New College’s scholarship reception, which brings donors and scholarship recipients together to meet in person. She provided a heartwarming and entertaining look at Ed’s life and her motivations for establishing a scholarship through New College, the core college on ASU’s West campus.

“It was obvious to everyone at the reception that Judy and Ed had a wonderful marriage and cared deeply for each other,” said Herschel Fink, New College’s development officer. “Establishing the Ed and Judy Lynn Scholarship serves to help students in New College while also creating a living legacy for Ed Lynn and his principles of a strong work ethic, generosity and commitment.”

Along with those principles came a healthy sense of humor. Among the anecdotes Judy Lynn shared with reception attendees was what Ed did on his last “good day” after his cancer diagnosis, which happened to be Judy’s birthday. “He made his way into our guest rooms to hide plastic snakes in his sister’s and sister-in-law’s beds,” she said.

Judy Lynn credits Fink and communication studies professors Jeff Kassing and Vince Waldron for assisting her in establishing the scholarship fund. She will serve as a member of the scholarship selection committee, along with two faculty members. “We work with our donors to enable them to be involved in the selection process if that is something they are interested in doing,” Fink said.

“The first priority of the scholarship is to support students who have established a promising academic record as undergraduates in the New College communication program and have been admitted to the MACS program,” Lynn said.

“While this scholarship will be available to students who demonstrate financial need, we will also be looking at those applicants who show that they are personally covering a portion of the costs of attendance – as Ed might say, that they have some ‘skin in the game.’ We see Lynn Scholars as engaged academic leaders. They will be expected to work closely with a MACS faculty mentor on projects related to teaching, research, or community service,” she said.

Lynn said her husband was extremely supportive, both of her and of the communication program, as she pursued her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the West campus. “We opened our home to communication and Osher Lifelong Learning planning and social events. Ed got to know many of my colleagues and faculty in the communication program, and loved being involved.”

Lynn describes her husband as a born entrepreneur who was generous and had a strong work ethic. “He got his first job at the age of 12 delivering groceries to customers from the local market in one of the store’s vehicles,” she told attendees at the scholarship reception. “Now, Ed did not have a driver’s license, but that didn’t stop him from getting his job done. How times have changed!”

After a successful four-decade career in the meat industry, Ed Lynn became involved with additional business ventures including banking and real estate development. “In Ed’s world, colleagues and customers became friends, friends became family, and family was everything to him,” Judy said.

Establishing a scholarship fund not only honors her husband’s legacy but also ensures that Judy Lynn will continue to maintain the bonds she established while working toward two degrees through New College. “I hold many fond memories of colleagues and faculty at a most wonderful campus that really worked for me as a returning student,” she said.

Students interested in applying to receive the Lynn Scholarship or other scholarships offered through New College may contact