Gerald Hannon, former journalism instructor, will be offering students a $1,000 award through RyeSAC. Hannon was fired in 1996 after admitting he was a prostitute.

Ex-prof award gets go-ahead

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By Steve Massa

A former journalism instructor, who was fired after admitting he’s a prostitute, is getting into bed with RyeSAC. He’s giving students an award because Ryerson turned down his offer.

Gerald Hannon, who was fired in 1996, wants to awards students the Gerald Hannon Prize for Dissenting Journalism.

After administration refused to offer the money to students, RyeSAC stepped in last Monday.

“[The award] will help push the boundaries in writing,” said RyeSAC president Erin George.

RyeSAC will promote the $1,000 award and process the applications.

The university turned Hannon down in May. He received a letter from Jack Radford, who was then the executive director of the office of university advancement, that said “it would be inappropriate to re-establish any connection between [Hannon] and the university.”

Radford declined to speak to The Eyeopener.

Hannon, a freelance writer, was fired after admitting to The Toronto Sun he worked as a prostitute.

“It was a shameful episode in the university’s past,” Hannon said.

Ryerson settled their contract with Hannon and he’s now using some of the money to establish the award.

Hannon hopes the money will encourage students to write controversial stories that go against the grain. It will be offered next year and continue for at least five years.

To qualify, you must be enrolled in the school of journalism and submit an entry that has been published in one of Ryerson’s student publications. The entries will be judged by Hannon, journalism instructor Don Obe and others to be announced.

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