The Mike Murray Make a Difference Scholarship
For his years of devotion to youth sports, community service, and disability advocacy
Help support a scholarship in Mike Murray’s name.
I understand that my gift will be put towards endowment of this fund should the overall amount of contributions received reach or exceed the minimum endowment level of $25,000.
Mike Murray (a.k.a. “Da Voice”) is a remarkable leader with a unique ability to communicate. His iconic role as “Da Voice” in his service as a sports announcer for Dr. Phillips High School football and basketball, as well as Rollins College women’s volleyball, was the perfect personification of his core belief: use your voice to inspire the best in others. His leadership was also evident in his selfless service to many community initiatives, including Cub Scouts, Pop Warner football, Little League baseball, and Special Olympics bowling.
Mike has been battling Parkinson’s disease (PD) since 2008. He has refused to yield to the limitations of this progressive disease. Instead of quitting when his signature announcing voice was severely affected, Murray reached out to others with disabilities. He used one of his other gifts—his superb writing ability—to share his personal experiences and send a compelling message: focus on abilities rather than disabilities.
The Mike Murray Make a Difference Scholarship was fueled by a start-up donation from Mike, his family, and some of his long-time friends and colleagues in the Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). An enthusiastic outpouring of support from friends, family, acquaintances, and the public enabled the start-up fund to achieve endowment status in 2021, ensuring that this award can support students for generations to come. Donations going forward will not only secure the existence of the scholarship into the future but also make it possible to increase the scholarship awards both in amount and number. Won’t you help? Any amount is appreciated, and there are two easy ways to lend your support: online or by mail.
In addition, we are pleased to give Mike’s friends, family, and colleagues an opportunity to let him know how much he has been a part of their lives. Along with the scholarship fund-raiser, we are seeking memory contributions to the Mike Murray Memory Book in the form of messages, reminiscences, photos, and testimonials. Please send Mike your messages and reflections using the form below or by email to [email protected].
Any amount is appreciated, and there are two easy ways to support.
You will be taken directly to the special giving page for the Mike Murray Scholarship.
Donate via Mail
To give by mail, simply fill in “Mike Murray Scholarship” on the memo line of your check. You may send your donation to:
UCF College of Health Professions and Sciences
Attn: Office of Advancement
12805 Pegasus Drive
Orlando, FL 32816-2200
Even though Mike and I have never met person, Mike is a technical communication hero to me. He is one of the reasons I joined the STC Florida chapter, even though I live 3,000 miles away. I had heard about Mike's lifelong contributions both to his local community and to the technical communication profession he served. I have been inspired by his brave fight with the devastation of Parkinson's disease, a condition that never for a moment has he allowed to steal his commitment to service and hope for the future. As a volunteer in several STC communities, I'm always looking for good resources for leadership development, and so it was no surprise that one of the best and most inspiring resources came from Mike. The leadership development guide he prepared for STC Florida continues to stand out for me as a clearly written and effective roadmap to good leadership. But it goes beyond that, because it communicates all of this great information in the upbeat and optimistic tone that Mike brings to everything he does. In a world that can seem overly competitive and cruel, I'm grateful that we have people like Mike who seeks to shine a light on the good in everyone. I'm honored to support this scholarship, which is wonderful testimony to Mike's commitment to service and his love for our profession. Thank you for all you do, Mike!
Mike and I met for the first time in 2020. You can count on him to always have an encouraging word, words of wisdom to share, or a funny joke to make you smile. He has the heart of a servant. Always thinking of others and thinking of ways to make a difference. He is an amazing individual who has managed to find a way to inspire others while dealing with his own challenges. I never knew Da Voice prior to 2020 but I am happy God deemed it necessary for us to cross paths during this lifetime. Thank you Mike for always sharing a piece of yourself with others. Thank you for giving selflessly over the years. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey.
Mike Murray set the example in helping make the Central Florida chapter of the Society for Technical Communication a source of energy and professional excellence. It has been many years since our paths crossed in STC and in Lockheed Martin technical communication, but no one ever forgets the voice, the dignity and the ability to inspire that Mike brings to life. Thanks, Mike, for starting the scholarship and for sharing your story.
Mike helped me so many times with my writing tasks, I wish I could go to him for advice on this one. Well here goes - What a pleasure it was to work with Mike for almost all of his 31 years at Lockheed Martin. There was never a time when Mike didn't have a smile on his face and a warm greeting for me when we ran into each other. I know it's safe to say that is how everybody saw Mike. I would go to Mike many times for help in doing write-ups for work and he'd never let me down. His talent with the English vocabulary was outstanding. When I would go to him for advice, I knew I would have his full attention while working with me which was unusual for folks back then. I wish I could use him to help me write this testimonial! If more people were like Mike, this world would be such a beautiful place to live.
As chapter president for multiple terms, Mike presided over numerous monthly meetings, but he went out of his way to make the annual end-of-the year meetings particularly special. During this annual meeting, members who did the most to contribute to the chapter’s success were recognized for their hard work. Using his deep broadcasting voice, Mike was always generous in his praise and appreciation as he asked each and every deserving member to come up and receive recognition and applause and to receive a plaque or certificate or both. Mike made each and every member feel special on those nights, and somehow his sincere appreciation helped motivate everyone to work even harder the following year, just one of the many ways Mike demonstrated his strong leadership of the chapter. As an STC member since 1984 (Mike became a member that year, too), I can tell you he is one of the major reasons the chapter was recognized as a distinguished chapter year after year. We are all in his debt.
After joining STC in late 2001 or early 2002, someone suggested that I join what was originally called the Special Needs SIG, which soon turned into the AccessAbility SIG. That is when I first met Mike online. We only had plain-text emails for regular communication, but that was all it took to develop close bonds with passionate members of the SIG like Mike. It was wonderful meeting Mike in real life for the first time in 2005 when the annual STC conference (pre-Summit days) went to Seattle. We hit the town twice for dinner as evidenced by my pre-smartphone photos. Our social banter, especially between Mike, Dan, and Fabien, could be playfully silly, but when we talked about accessibility issues, our passion for the issues ran deep and strong. Even though I left STC and the SIG a while ago, those many discussions in real life and online over the years settled deep in my heart and soul. I continue to draw inspiration from those discussions. They fuel my passion for all things concerning accessibility - or should I say people? That is really at the heart of our many accessibility discussions in the world of technical communication: respect for other people. That is the best place to start any journey and any friendship. Thank you for that inspiration, Mike! <3
I was a non-traditional student, back in school in my 30s, attempting to complete my bachelor's degree. I stumbled upon UCF's Technical Writing program, and shortly thereafter, the Orlando Chapter of STC. The man in charge was none other than Da Voice--Mike Murray. Mike's warm disposition and friendly attitude drew me in to this group of lovers of all things grammatical and communicative. Though I joined as merely a member, I quickly learned that resistance is futile. And I was assimilated as part of the leadership team. First as a mentor, then as head of the membership program, and quickly on to being vice-president, then president, and finally director at large. (Though I wasn't too sure about the whole thing at first, when he kept setting off the fart machine during my first summer leaders' summit.) Ten years of my life were happily poured into STC Orlando. Serving side-by-side with incredible professionals in the technical communications sphere. But one dear soul holds a special place in my heart to this very day. My dear friend, Mike Murray. Mike encouraged me as a fledgling technical communicator. He gifted me the incredibly special President's Award. He mentored me, whether he realizes it or not. And to this day, I consider him one of the greats of STC, technical communication, and truly dear, kind-hearted people in this world. There's no one like you, Mike. You are the Da Voice, and you are Da Bomb.
Mike, thank you for being there throughout the start of my STC career. I remember one of the first chapter meetings I ever attended, and how you gently encouraged me as I worked on my social skills. I can't help but juxtapose this against a snapshot from a few years later, with a reference to the final Memo to Members chapter newsletter that I helped publish as our Communications Chair and Newsletter Editor. The two images in the President's Corner article from May 2018 show you and the other mentors hard at work alongside us Rising Stars to help prepare two incredible presentations for the 2018 Summit. If you'd told me during the early years that I would find the courage to represent our chapter at the premier conference for our profession, I wouldn't have believed you. So, thank you Mike! I truly couldn't have done it without you. It is my honor to donate to this aptly-named scholarship in honor of a man who goes out of his way to Make a Difference every day. - Sincerely, Nick Ducharme.
As a former student of Dr Phillips High School, I heard Mike before I ever got to know him through STC. The lessons I took away from my time as an active STC member and a chapter leader in the Administrative Council are innumerable, but the tradition I’m most proud to carry on is that of mentoring the next generation of technical communicators. Mike’s openness and encouragement of young professionals becoming involved in STC made a significant and lasting mark on my career and the careers of many of my contemporaries. Now we are in the position to carry the torch of this mentorship legacy, both formally through STC, and informally in our offices and through our LinkedIn contacts. We couldn’t have asked for a better example than the one Mike set - he empowered each of us to step up and find ways to make a difference, just as he demonstrated in his career and philanthropic efforts. I’m grateful that I got to know the man behind “Da Voice”, and even more grateful to learn from the values he exhibits in all facets of his life. Thank you, Mike, for helping us believe we can all make a difference, no matter what stage of our careers and lives we are in!
As the long time principal contact for STC's Accessibility SIG, I have relied on a core group of colleagues to help respond to questions from members and the larger technical communication community. Mike is of course among those colleagues. His dedication to accessibility and leadership in the SIG are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you, Mike!
When I first met Mr. Murray, I was a UCF student about to graduate with my bachelor’s degree, who needed some help with preparing for and taking the next steps in order to get a career in Technical Writing. I still remember the day I discovered this amazing person, my mother and I were looking at a post we’d seen on NextDoor, our community app, and accidentally stumbled upon a post Mr. Murray made introducing himself, and once I saw he had been a Technical Writer I contacted him to see if we could meet and discuss the field I wanted to enter. Mr. Murray was so friendly and immediately responded and we had our first meeting over the phone, from the moment I spoke with him, I knew he would be a wealth of information. As soon as it was safe, we scheduled an in person meeting and since then we have met on several occasions where he has helped me perfect my resume and portfolio as well as given me valuable tips to help me secure a technical writing job. As I got to know Mr. Murray more, I realized that even though he does struggle at times, he is still full of life and loves to help others. I will never forget what Mr. Murray has taught me so far and hope to one day be able to pass it on to others who are just entering the Technical Writing field, as a way of keeping his legacy going for many years to come.