The award honors Patricia Leah Bassett Chitwood (July 28, 1956 – September 26, 2021), who served for over 30 years at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. She held a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University. At the Ledger, Pat became the first female business editor, the features editor, a leader in the Beyond 2000 civic journalism project, the chair of the Newspapers in Education program, the circulation director, and a member of the editorial board.

Pat shared her love for people and the written word with others in St. Luke United Methodist Church’s Seekers Sunday School Class and Thursday Women's Bible Study, Kiwanis Club, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Council for Child Abuse Prevention, Carson McCullers Center for Writers & Musicians, and as chair of the Muscogee County Library Book Sale.

Pat was rare as both a keen intellect and a people person -- legendary for arranging surprise parties, creating "Top 10" lists, quoting fragments of poetry, and finding the magic in a "24-hour phenomenon." Pat left behind more than family, friends, colleagues, and a host of articles, editorials, and graduate papers. She left behind a legacy of the power of our words and deeds to shape our tomorrows.


The Pat Chitwood Women Leaders in Journalism Scholarship:

Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities. (

Eligibility & Application Process

To be eligible for the Pat Chitwood Women Leaders in Journalism Scholarship, an applicant must:


The committee will consider female applicants who:


*NOTE: CFCV is aware of delays associated with the revised FAFSA form and as such, reserves the right to adjust the timeline below. Application deadlines will be updated on the scholarship application portal (link below).