DAA 2013: Miriam Meloy Sturgeon, BA’38, MA’40


Miriam Meloy Sturgeon, BA’38, MA’40

Miriam Meloy Sturgeon’s legacy to IU journalism lasted long after she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the program. She established IU’s first journalism library and, as an associate at the IU Foundation, helped raise more than $1 million for the renovation of Ernie Pyle Hall in the mid-1970s.

Sturgeon, BA’38, MA’40, studied journalism and government as both an undergraduate and a graduate student. As an undergraduate, she worked at the IU Bookstore and was a reporter, copy editor and church editor of the Indiana Daily Student. As a graduate student, she was secretary of the Department of Journalism, and, at director John Stempel’s request, she established the journalism library.

Sturgeon was selected as a member of the college chapter of Theta Sigma Phi, now The Association for Women in Communications. She remained affiliated with the organization for the rest of her life, serving as president of the Bloomington and Indianapolis chapters, and as national president from 1961-63. She also was a member of the National Federation of Press Women and its Indiana affiliate.

In 1974, Sturgeon won the IU Alumni Association’s Gertrude Rich Award, given annually for outstanding contributions to the IUAA.

Sturgeon during her IU years

The IU Foundation named an award in her honor, the Miriam Meloy Sturgeon Award for Partnership. In addition to her work on the library and on Ernie Pyle Hall, Sturgeon helped raise funds for construction projects on the Musical Arts Center.

She also was editor of a publication for the College of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School Alumni Association, and of Hoosier Business Woman, the state publication of the Business and Professional Women’s Club.

At a memorial service for Sturgeon in January 1979, Stempel said, “Those of us associated with journalism are forever in her debt for her leadership in raising the money necessary to carry instruction in journalism at Indiana University into the electronic age.”

He added, “She was one of that group who have made Indiana University great.”