LOS ANGELES – A scholarship in memory of Fred Rogers (search), who produced and hosted the acclaimed PBS children's program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," was given to its inaugural recipient, a University of California film student.
Michelle Lyn Banta, a graduate student at the UCLA (search) School of Theater, Film and Television, received $10,000 to support her study in children's media and further "the values and principles of Rogers' work," the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (search) said.
Banta's selection was announced Tuesday at a ceremony attended by Rogers' widow, Joanne Rogers.
Rogers died of cancer in 2003 at age 74.
"The announcement of this scholarship fund in Fred's memory was a thrill," she said in a statement, calling Banta a deserving candidate whose selection honored Rogers.
Banta also will have the opportunity to work with a mentor from the academy's children's programming group during the school year.
The TV academy established the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship with funding from Ernst & Young LLP (search).