Television Academy Foundation Honors Alex Trebek With Legacy Fellowship Fund

by Jennifer Shea
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The Television Academy’s Television Academy Foundation is launching the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowship Fund. The fund will give need-based fellowships to college professors who want to attend the Television Academy Foundation’s yearly Faculty Conference.

The academy, which presents the Emmy Awards, will also use funds from the charity to support the conference itself, according to Good Morning America. The goal of the conference is to provide a bridge between college classrooms and the television industry. It also aims to teach media professors about the latest developments in the television business.

Trebek won a total of eight Daytime Emmy Awards as well as the Television Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, per IMDb.

Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowship Fund Will Support 25 Profs This Year

Longtime “Jeopardy!” executive producer Harry Friedman kicked off the fund with a donation of $50,000 from his Harry & Judy Friedman Family Foundation.

“Judy and I are extremely grateful to the Television Academy Foundation for creating the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowships,” Friedman said in a press release. “They will serve as a lasting tribute to our dear friend’s life and work. Much like ‘Jeopardy!’ itself, the Foundation’s programs use the power of television to educate and to celebrate and reward knowledge.”

The first round of Alex Trebek fellowships will go out to 25 professors who can prove financial need and want to attend the Nov. 15-17 event. This year’s Faculty Conference is taking place online-only. But in the future, the fellowships will also cover registration fees, travel, lodging and other expenses.

The 2021 conference will feature Friedman on the panel, “The Art of the Game: Careers in Quiz and Game Shows.” Friedman is a 19-time Emmy Award winner who also executive produced “Wheel of Fortune.” Other panelists include “Jeopardy!” writer Michele Loud, Warner Horizon Television Executive Vice President of Production Kevin Fortson and, as moderator, “Funny You Should Ask” executive producer Bob Boden.

Trebek Died in 2020 of Pancreatic Cancer

Trebek had been hosting “Jeopardy!” since 1984. He announced in March of 2019 that he was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Then, on Nov. 8, 2020, the beloved game show host passed away at home surrounded by family. He was 80.

Trebek left behind three children, Nicky, Matthew and Emily, and his wife, Jean Currivan Trebek.

Trebek’s last known charitable donation was a $500,000 gift to found the Trebek Center. The San Fernando Valley homeless shelter aims to help stem the tide of homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area.  

“Knowing that we were able to help create a place of refuge for so many, and to support people who need a helping hand, is the main goal of The Trebek Family Foundation and is truly a dream come true for both Alex and I,” Jean Trebek said in a statement upon the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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