AU honors late NBC4, WTOP alum Wendy Rieger through journalism scholarship

Tuesday marked two years since the death of Wendy Rieger, a longtime fixture in the world of D.C. journalism who spent decades as a beloved NBC4 anchor before dying of cancer at age 65.

She is now being commemorated via a new scholarship at her alma mater.

The American University School of Communication announced Thursday that the Wendy Rieger Memorial Scholarship Fund had been created in memory of the Emmy Award-winning journalist.

Rieger began her studies at American in 1976, receiving a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1980. Post-graduation, she briefly worked as an anchor at WTOP. She also worked at other local radio stations before starting at NBC Washington in 1988 as a reporter.

Throughout her robust journalism career, Rieger was known for employing her quick wit, as well as capturing the hearts and attention of viewers who forged personal connections with her through her people-focused storytelling.

Rieger was diagnosed with glioblastoma and subsequently underwent brain surgery in 2021, before officially retiring in December 2021. She died on April 16, 2022.

Rieger’s husband, Dan Buckley, established the endowed scholarship, which will be available annually for American’s journalism school students.

Anyone interested in making a contribution to the Wendy Rieger Memorial Scholarship Fund can email Victoria Black at

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Dana Sukontarak

Dana Sukontarak is a Digital Writer/Editor for She loves haiku poetry, short sci-fi stories and word games. She grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and currently lives in Silver Spring.

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