by Leah Jackson
Northwestern State University remembered Carley McCord during the Sept. 18 football game against UT-Martin by recognizing her family and the presentation of a scholarship in her name. McCord, a 2011 graduate of Northwestern, was a well-known sports journalist and digital media reporter who stayed in touch with her NSU family and was a devoted Demon supporter.
Friends, classmates, colleagues, sorority sisters and others contributed more than $108,000 to the Carley McCord Memorial scholarship, created to benefit a female student pursuing a career in sports journalism and media.
Caroline Bland of Shreveport is the inaugural recipient of the scholarship. Bland is a graduate of Byrd High School and is pursuing a degree in communications with concentration in sports media and a minor in photography.
McCord, a Baton Rouge native, earned a degree in journalism at NSU. As an undergraduate, she worked in NSU’s Recruiting Office for four years where she was a Student Ambassador and gave tours to prospective students. A talented vocalist, she was crowned Miss Northwestern-Lady of the Bracelet in 2010 when her fellow contestants voted her Miss Congeniality. She was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. She worked as a digital media reporter for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches and was the in-game host for the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. She was a frequent visitor to Northwestern State and supported the NSU Foundation as a Columns Fund member. McCord and four others died in a plane crash Dec. 28, 2019.
A high school volleyball player and student athletic trainer, Bland said she was drawn to sports media because of her life-long love of athletics. This semester she began a student job in NSU’s Sports Information Office where she helps cover football and volleyball.
“I would like to tell the McCord family that I am so thankful to be thought of for this scholarship. Once I got into this field in Spring 2020 I looked up all different female sports journalists and Carley was one who stood out to me. I read up on her and all of her accomplishments and I really looked up to who she was and I aspire to be like her,” Bland said.
“Caroline has jumped in with both feet since coming to our office. Her work ethic has made a quick impression and is reminiscent of Carley’s passionate, professional drive to do whatever she could to the best of her ability,” said Sports Information Director Jason Pugh.
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