Bona Dillon and Larry Press
The Bona Dillon and Larry Press Scholarship has been established by longtime Bakersfield journalist Larry Press and his wife, Bona Dillon, a former Bakersfield College journalism professor. The purpose of the gift is to fund scholarships for students aspiring to a career in the arts or communication but with a preference for students interested in journalism.
Bona is a consistent activist for First Amendment and student press rights and has been involved in journalism activities on the state and national levels. She is an Indiana native and a graduate of Ball State University. She came to Bakersfield in 1962, becoming a journalism professor in 1975.
Larry Press was sports editor and columnist for The Bakersfield Californian. He was a trusted source of local, state and national sports coverage and information. A native of New York, he graduated from Ohio University before moving to Bakersfield in 1953. He worked at The Californian for 42 years.
Larry and Bona have a long standing love and reverence for the printed word and the First Amendment and are establishing this scholarship in the belief that professional newsgathering is essential to American democracy.