Chicago White Sox and University of Notre Dame establish Ed Farmer Sports Media Endowment For Excellence | News | Sport, Media, and Culture Minor | University of Notre Dame

Chicago White Sox and University of Notre Dame establish Ed Farmer Sports Media Endowment For Excellence

Author: Colin McGauley

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox and the University of Notre Dame, with the generous financial contributions of longtime friend Dr. William M. Bennett, MD, FASN, have established the Ed Farmer Media Endowment for Excellence.

Honoring the late Ed Farmer, the homegrown talent from Evergreen Park, Illinois, who pitched for 11 seasons in the major leagues and later became the radio voice of the White Sox for decades, the Fund was established with a $100,000 combined contribution by Dr. Bennett and Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC).

Through the endowment, “Ed Farmer Scholarships” will be given annually to students studying in Notre Dame’s Sport, Media and Culture (SMAC) minor or those enrolled in the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. The scholarships provide recipients with more opportunities for research, applied learning, and professional experiences related to sports media and journalism.

“We have an amazing cohort of students in the SMAC minor, interested in all aspects of sports and media,” says University of Notre Dame SMAC director and associate professor Annie Coleman. “I cannot wait to see the projects they develop and the experiences they will be able to explore with the benefit of Ed Farmer Scholarships. Opening access to these types of experiences has the potential to change a person's life and brings new voices into the industry. It's wonderful to have this support for our students and their dreams.”

“We are so honored to partner with Dr. Bennett to establish a fund that combines Ed’s lifelong passions – a vocation in sports and broadcast journalism and the students and opportunities at the University of Notre Dame,” explains Christine O’Reilly, CWSC executive director. “Ed was tirelessly committed to serving others. He never missed the chance to connect with fans at the ballpark, in the community and over the Sox airwaves, including using his voice to advocate for organ and tissue donation with Dr. Bennett and many others. We know he’s smiling down with great pride that his legacy and love for the University continues giving back to students who share this calling.”  

An energetic storyteller known for his perpetual loyalty and love for Notre Dame football, Farmer attended St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago and frequently invited White Sox players, employees and friends to tour the athletic facilities on Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend, Indiana.

After undergoing a kidney transplant in 1991 due to polycystic kidney disease, Farmer regularly joined Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White for annual appearances at the James R. Thompson Center to raise awareness and promote the need for organ and tissue donation. Farmer previously served on the board of directors of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Research Foundation and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives about the disease in 1995.

Dr. Bennett, a close friend to Farmer, currently works as a leading transplant nephrologist at Legacy Transplant Services in Portland, Oregon. With more than 50 years of experience, Dr. Bennett specializes in kidney transplantation and is board certified in internal medicine, nephrology, clinical pharmacology and clinical hypertension. His contributions have earned him several awards, including the Polycystic Kidney Research Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award, the National Kidney Foundation Donald W. Seldin Award for excellence in clinical nephrology, among other accolades.

Honoring Famer’s legacy and the White Sox ongoing efforts to promote organ and tissue donation, Secretary of State White will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch to Hall of Fame legend Harold Baines who recently received a life-saving double organ transplant (heart and kidney). Fans are invited to join the organ donor registry or show proof of their donor status in exchange for special “Donate Life” T-Shirts, while supplies last.

Farmer passed away at the age of 70 in April 2020. He concluded his 29th full season on the White Sox Radio Network in 2019 and 14th handling play-by-play duties. The 2019 season marked his 11th with longtime broadcasting partner and friend Darrin Jackson, and second on WGN Radio 720-AM.

“Ed’s connection to Notre Dame was tangible. It was real,” says Jackson. “He was the type of guy who always found ways of connecting people to the University, and I know he would be thrilled scholarships in his name now provide even more opportunities to the Irish faithful.” 

Applications for the Ed Farmer Scholarship will open in the coming months. The SMAC director and internship coordinator evaluate applications and will notify recipients by the end of April 2023.

© 2022 Chicago White Sox

Editor’s Note: For more information, please contact Colin McGauley in the White Sox public relations department at cmcgauley@chisox.com or (312) 674-5318.

About Chicago White Sox Charities

As the White Sox 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, CWSC works tirelessly to lift up those most in need throughout the Chicagoland area. Through initiatives like Sox Split 50/50, presented by Wintrust, and the Queen of Hearts Raffle, CWSC raises funds to promote youth education and advancement, share the love of the game through youth baseball initiatives, assist children and families in crisis and champion those battling cancer. To date, CWSC has donated more than $38 million to non-profit organizations across the city and surrounding areas.