Day family establishes endowed student award to support study abroad experiences

The family of J. Laurence (Larry) Day has established an endowed student award to financially support study abroad experiences for KU School of Journalism & Mass Communications students.

Larry’s passion for journalism and international travel has inspired generations of students, forged global connections, and created lifelong friendships. Larry’s travels have taken him to five continents and more than 50 countries.

The J. Laurence Day Study Abroad Award will help support current and future students in their own journey of global exploration and cultural enrichment. The hope of Larry and his family is that student award recipients create life-long memories and international friendships and build on KU’s legacy of excellence in global outreach and engagement.

“I have seen some magnificent places,” Larry says. “However, what I remember most is the people. No matter where I was in the world, I experienced incredible kindness and generosity. I have been richly blessed by my friendships with people around the world, and my hope is for study abroad to be the first step on a lifelong journey of discovery and friendship for KU students.”

The Day family will do a one-for-one match for the first $7,500 raised and contribute another $2,500 once the initial goal is reached for One Day. One KU. on March 6. 

Larry Day’s Background

Larry was a tenured professor in the School of Journalism from 1966 to 1988, and director of KU’s study abroad program in Costa Rica during the 1982-83 academic year. He was a two-time Fulbright Scholar, serving as a lecturer at La Plata University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the 1975-76 academic year, and as a lecturer at various institutions in Bogotá, Colombia, during the 1980-81 academic year

A missionary trip to Uruguay as a 19-year-old inspired his love for meeting and connecting with people around the world, and international travel and building global friendships became Larry’s personal passion and professional focus. He returned to Latin America as a graduate student conducting academic research on newspapers, including El Tiempo in Bogotá. Shortly after his wedding in 1961 to Chris, the couple moved to Buenos Aires for a year where Larry worked as a correspondent for United Press International (UPI).

Larry’s 40-year career as a journalism educator focused on international media, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to his academic work, he traveled extensively with the United States Information Agency (USIA) conducting freedom of the press seminars for professional journalists around the world. As a working journalist himself, he covered the Falkland Islands war in 1982 and Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 1998. 

In 2011, Larry and Chris returned to Buenos Aires to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.