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Scholarship fund to honor copy-editing teacher

Nov 29, 2018

Posted in: News

By Jeff South, Associate Professor

Bryan DeVasher in the newsroom of the Richmond Times-Dispatch

After longtime journalist and adjunct instructor Bryan DeVasher passed away, his colleagues, friends and students wanted to do something in his honor. So they launched the DeVasher Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The fundraising began on the GoFundMe platform days after DeVasher, 54, died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 30 at a hospital in Williamsburg. He had worked as a reporter and editor in Virginia for more than two decades and also taught copy editing at the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.

“Bryan was a kind, knowledgeable educator whose impact on his students and the journalism industry will last for decades to come,” said Deanna Davison, one of DeVasher’s students who gave a donation. “He will truly be missed.”

Added Paul Kyber, another contributor: “Bryan and I worked together at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. I got to see his passion for journalism up close. And I know he loved teaching as well. He was a brilliant, funny and kind guy. This is a great way to pay tribute to him.”

The GoFundMe effort raised more than $1,400 in three days – the seed money for the DeVasher Memorial Scholarship Fund. The account is now being managed by VCU's development office. Contributions can be made at

The goal is to raise an endowment that would allow the School to award an annual scholarship of at least $1,000 to a student who embodies the traits DeVasher lived: a commitment to fair, accurate and compelling journalism.

DeVasher received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University in 1986. He then worked at newspapers in the Midwest before joining the Daily Press in Newport News as a senior copy editor in 1994. In 2007, he moved to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he served as a design editor, copy editor, reporter, videographer and social media manager.

In 2017, DeVasher took a position as public relations specialist for the Virginia State Police. In April of this year, he became managing editor of Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, a local news website.

In addition to his full-time jobs, DeVasher was an adjunct faculty member for the Robertson School for more than six years, teaching copy editing every fall and spring semester.

He is survived by Jenny Cloninger DeVasher, his wife of 21 years, and the couple’s son and daughter, William and Maggie, both 15 years old.