Cleveland, Ohio — Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism, will be John Carroll University’s 2010 keynote commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. The graduation ceremony will take place Sunday, May 23, at noon on the Rodman Hall Terrace, located on the John Carroll University campus.
“Mr. Brokaw’s name is synonymous with the best in journalism,” said Robert L. Niehoff, S.J., president of John Carroll University. “His experiences and insights from nearly half a century of reporting have touched our lives and will undoubtedly provide a fascinating perspective for our graduates and our University community.”
Brokaw is currently a special correspondent for NBC News. In this role, he reports and produces long-form documentaries and provides expertise during election coverage and breaking news events for NBC News. From June 2008 until December 2008, Brokaw served as interim moderator of NBC’s top-rated Sunday morning public affairs program, Meet the Press, after the untimely death of moderator and esteemed John Carroll alumnus Tim Russert.
“Tim was a close friend of Mr. Brokaw and the John Carroll University community,” added Father Niehoff. “Having Mr. Brokaw serve as our 2010 commencement speaker will be especially meaningful to all of us since, in Tim’s honor last year, we named the Tim Russert Department of Communication and Theatre Arts.”
On December 1, 2004, Brokaw stepped down after 21 years as the anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News.” He has received numerous honors, including the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and he was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has interviewed every president since Lyndon Baines Johnson and has covered every presidential election since 1968. Brokaw was NBC’s White House correspondent during Watergate (1973-1976)—a turbulent time for the nation.
Brokaw is also distinguished by his impressive series of “firsts,” including the first exclusive U.S. one-on-one interview with former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, earning an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. Brokaw was the first and only anchor to report from the scene the night the Berlin Wall fell, one of the most memorable events in the last 25 years, and was the first American anchor to travel to Tibet to report on human-rights abuses and to conduct an interview with the Dalai Lama.
Brokaw began his journalism career in 1962 at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska. He anchored the late evening news on Atlanta’s WSB-TV in 1965 before joining KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. Brokaw was hired by NBC News in 1966, and from 1976-1981 he anchored NBC News’ “Today” program.
Brokaw is also a best-selling author. His works include: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland, and BOOM! Voices of the Sixties.