Lawrence University Celebrates 160th Commencement, Honors New York Times Columnist

APPLETON, WIS. — In recognition of his professional achievements, Lawrence University will award New York Times op-ed columnist Bob Herbert an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday, June 14 at the college’s 160th commencement. As part of commencement exercises, Herbert also will address the graduating seniors.

Lawrence is expected to confer 324 bachelor of arts and/or music degrees to 314 seniors from 32 states and 14 foreign countries during graduation ceremonies that begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Hall green.

William Chaney, George McKendree Steele Professor Emeritus of History, delivers the address “College and the Final Exam” at a baccalaureate service Saturday, June 13 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The baccalaureate service and commencement are free and open to the public.

During commencement, President Jill Beck, Lawrence Board of Trustees Chair Harry Jansen Kraemer ’77 and seniors Nora Taylor of Chicago and James Duncan Welke of Appleton will join Herbert in addressing the graduates.

An award-winning journalist, Herbert has enjoyed a career spanning both print and broadcast media. Since June 1993, he has written a twice-a-week column on politics, urban affairs and social trends for the New York Times, telling stories that give ordinary people hope and a voice. Prior to joining the Times, he spent two years as a national correspondent for NBC, reporting for “The Today Show and “NBC Nightly News.”

Born in Brooklyn, Herbert began his journalism career in 1970 as a reporter with The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. He joined The Daily News in New York in 1976 as a general assignment reporter and later served as national correspondent, consumer affairs editor, city hall bureau chief and city editor. He was appointed to the paper’s editorial board in 1985 and began writing columns that ran in The Daily News for eight years.

He launched his broadcast career in 1990 as a founding panelist of “Sunday Edition,” a weekly discussion program on WCBS-TV in New York and also served as host of “Hotline,” a weekly hour-long issues program on WNYC-TV.

His writing has earned Herbert numerous awards, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors award in 1988 for distinguished deadline writing, Columbia University School of Journalism’s 1989 Mike Berger Award, which honors distinguished and enterprising reporting by New York journalists and most recently, the 2008 David Nyhan Prize from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University for excellence in political reporting. He is a former chairman of the Pulitzer Prize jury for spot news reporting.

Herbert is the author of the 2005 book “Promises Betrayed: Waking Up from the American Dream,” a collection of essays in which he examines the lives of ordinary citizens, minorities and children who are facing real problems in a society he argues too often fails to meet the American creed of fairness and justice.

Read Herbert’s charge to the Class of 2009.