John Jakes Scholarship Fund

The John Jakes Endowed Writing Scholarship at New College of Florida will provide scholarships for two writing majors per year, in perpetuity.

The John Jakes Endowed Writing Scholarship

John Jakes
John Jakes

New College of Florida is delighted to announce the establishment of The John Jakes Endowed Writing Scholarship, which will be used for students who wish to pursue a career in writing, publishing, journalism or other writing fields. The first scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2018.

At New College, writing is an important element of the curriculum; a vital component of professional and academic development, critical thinking and intellectual maturation.

The scholarship is named for Sarasota resident John Jakes, the acknowledged contemporary master of the family saga. He is the creator of the legendary eight-volume “Kent Family Chronicles,” the Main and Hazard families of “The North and South” trilogy, and the “Crowns of Chicago.”

The Rotary Club of Sarasota, the Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation, the New College community and friends and admirers of Jakes raised more than $100,000 for the fund.  Reaching that milestone triggered an anonymous match of another $100,000, which fully funded the endowed scholarship.

New College celebrated the completion of the scholarship’s initial fundraising on April 5, 2018, with a “fireside chat” with Jakes and his friend, author Don Bruns, in College Hall.  In the wide-ranging conversation, Jakes emphasized the importance of training writers of all stripes.

“This is not a fiction-writing program — it is anything but,” he said.  “It is on clear, strong writing, no matter what you are writing, why you are writing it or who you are writing for.”

The New College Foundation welcomes additional gifts to the John Jakes Endowed Writing Scholarship.

To download a contribution form, please click here.

Send the form to:
New College Foundation
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243

You may also:

  • Call the New College Foundation at 941-487-4800 to make your gift;
  • Make your gift online. Select John Jakes Scholarship Fund from the “Designation” drop-down menu.

Follow news about the scholarship fund on Facebook.

For more information, please contact MaryAnne Young, Executive Director, New College Foundation at 941-487-4801 or by email at

About John Jakes

John Jakes
John Jakes

John Jakes enrolled in the creative writing program at DePauw University, graduated in 1953, and in 1954 earned an masters in American literature from Ohio State University

From 1989 to 1996 Jakes was a Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of South Carolina. Jakes holds honorary doctorates from five universities, the most recent from The Ohio State University.

In 1995 he was recipient of a dual Celebrity and Citizen’s Award from the White House Conference on Libraries and Information, for speaking and writing on behalf of America’s public libraries.

In 1996 he became the 10th inductee of the South Carolina Academy of Authors, and in 1997 he received the Professional Achievement Award of the Ohio State University Alumni Association. In 1998 the South Carolina Humanities Association awarded him its highest honor, for Career Achievement and support of the humanities, and in 2002 he received the Cooper Medal, presented by the Thomas Cooper Library of the University of South Carolina. Previous recipients include Joseph Heller, John Updike, and Pat Conroy.