Endowment to benefit UH Hilo students majoring in communication

The endowed scholarship is made in honor of Maurice Zimring, a writer and reporter who served at UH Hilo twice during his long career.

Maurice Zimring
Maurice Zimring

Franklin Zimring, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, has established a $25,000 endowment at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo in honor of his late father, Maurice Zimring. The endowment will support undergraduate students in their senior year of earning a bachelor of arts in communication and who have submitted an outstanding research paper that can make an important contribution to the field of communication.

Recipients of the scholarship can be part- or full-time students and must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.

Twice in his long career as a writer and reporter, Maurice Zimring joined the staff at UH Hilo. First, he served as an administrative aide to John Stalker (who directed the Peace Corps Training Center in Hilo and was a staff aide at the UH Mānoa East-West Center), and then he was an assistant and speechwriter for the UH Hilo chancellor.

Franklin Zimring
Franklin Zimring

“His affection for the people and ambitions of the UH Hilo campus were the inspiration for this award program,” says Frank Zimring in a statement about the endowment.

Maury and Molly Zimring moved to Hawai‘i Island in 1960. Married since 1933 and with their two children grown, Hilo appealed to their pioneer spirits.

Molly became the first woman to practice law on the island after opening her office in 1961. The Zimrings invested in real estate in Hilo and Puna and began development of the land that eventually became Puna Beach Pallisades.

Maurice Zimring grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, one of five children of an immigrant family. He was educated in public schools, including one term at the University of Iowa.

During the Depression, he worked as a reporter for the local newspaper before setting off for southern California in 1932. His career in media began in radio during its golden age where he specialized in writing original dramatic scripts for a series of network programs, most notably Hollywood Star Playhouse where his work was performed by Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino, Barbara Stanwyck, Mel Ferrer, Dana Andrews and the premiere performance of Marilyn Monroe. His pen name in Hollywood was Maurice Zimm.

Maury made the transition from radio to motion pictures in the early 1950s when one of his radio stories was produced by MGM as Jeopardy starring Barbara Stanwick and Barry Sullivan. His other film credits included The Prodigal and Good Day for Hanging.

But most famously, he invented and wrote the story for the misunderstood monster who became The Creature from the Black Lagoon in a series of films produced by Universal Pictures.

In the late 1950s, Maury’s most important work was in network television. He spent two years as a staff writer for the classic television series Perry Mason, where he was the author of eight one-hour scripts produced from 1959 to 1963.

Maury passed away on Nov. 17, 2005, in Westwood, CA, at 96 years old—but along with his wonderful writing, his legacy lives on at UH Hilo.

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Jin Yin.

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