Broadcast news legend Dan Rather, who has covered most of the world’s major news events over the past six decades, will be the keynote graduation speaker for Temple University’s School of Media and Communication in May.
“Dan Rather is one of the best-known and most accomplished journalists in the world,” said SMC Dean David Boardman. “For many Americans, he is the voice of the last half of the 20th Century. We’re thrilled that our new graduates and their families will have the opportunity to hear from him directly, and to benefit from the lessons – in communications and in life – that he has learned along the way.”
Rather will speak to graduates and their invited guests at the school’s ceremony at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, in McGonigle Hall.
In his 64-year career in journalism, most of that at CBS News, Rather earned a reputation as a hard-working and courageous reporter and anchor. He had a front-row seat for events that have changed the world, including the assassination of President Kennedy; the bombing of a Birmingham church during the American civil-rights movement; wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq; and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has interviewed every American president since Dwight Eisenhower, and virtually every major international leader of the past 30 years, including two sessions with Saddam Hussein.
Rather served as anchor of The CBS Evening News from 1981 to 2005, the longest anchor tenure in broadcast network history. His journalism career began in 1950 as an Associated Press reporter in Huntsville, Texas, and included reporting positions at CBS Reports, 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes II and 48 Hours. As a young CBS reporter in Dallas he was the first to report on Nov. 22, 1963, that President Kennedy had died.
Since his departure from CBS in 2005, the 82-year-old Rather has embraced new media and continues to produce investigative journalism, international reporting and in-depth interviews for Dan Rather Reports on AXS TV, a series that boasts nearly 17,000 Twitter followers and 53,000 likes on Facebook. Additionally, he hosts The Big Interview, a series that features in-depth conversations with pop culture icons.
Rather’s lifelong dedication to high-quality journalism continues in his current ventures, which have earned four Emmy awards for war and investigative reporting and four Front Page Awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for stories concerning the plight of women abroad.
“Dan Rather has been in the vanguard of electronic journalism for more than six decades, traveling around the globe and across America to uncover the extraordinary stories that shape and change our lives. Often, he did it at great personal risk. Today, Dan Rather’s reporting still brings clarity and context to a complex world,” said Paul Gluck, associate professor of media studies and production and general manager of TUTV-Temple Television.
A ‘real-world ready’ student speaker
Michael Busza, a communications major with minors in business and English, will address his fellow SMC graduates at the May ceremony.
Busza, 22, of Springfield, Pa., has grasped every opportunity presented to him during his time at Temple to become real-world ready. Busza is the creator, writer, director and producer of One of the Guys, a six-episode web-based television series about four roommates – three gay and the fourth straight. The series earned a nomination for a collegiate award from the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Academy of Television and Sciences and a nomination for the Emmy Foundation’s 2014 College Television Awards.
In its first two years of existence, Busza earned the MarcDavid LGBTQ Scholarship, created to provide financial support for a student who is a leader in the community and an advocate for LGBTQ causes. He has earned several other scholarships, including the Lew Klein Excellence in Media Scholarship and the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Scholarships.
“While I have seen other students grow, it has been a pleasure to see Michael mature into a scholarly leader, one that understands the importance of the academy and the lofty principles of learning. I can unabashedly write that of all of the students with whom I have worked, Michael remains one of the most pronounced campus leaders with whom I had the pleasure of meeting,” said Scott Gratson, director of the communication studies program and SMC undergraduate studies.
SMC graduation ceremony details are posted at smc.temple.edu/graduation.
Assistant Director of Communications