Legendary journalist Bill Moyers will be the speaker at the 2016 School of Arts and Sciences Convocation on May 15 at High Point Solutions Stadium.
The Convocation, which made its debut last year with a stunning performance by Grammy-winning singer Regina Belle, takes place immediately after University Commencement and provides SAS students the opportunity to walk across the stage and shake hands with the dean while the jumbotron captures the moment for everyone in the stadium to see.
“We are proud to have Bill Moyers as our speaker at the School of Arts and Sciences Convocation,” Executive Dean Peter March said. “His work has set the gold standard for broadcast journalism, and his many other accomplishments, whether as a founding organizer of the Peace Corps or as special assistant and press secretary to President Johnson or as a best-selling author, show our students of the arts and sciences the possibilities of an engaged and examined life."
Moyers began his journalism career at 16 as a cub reporter for his daily hometown newspaper in Marshall, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas, his studies led him from the School of Divinity, New College at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas where he received his Master of Divinity degree.
In 1960, he changed paths by joining the staff of the Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson. After the election, Moyers became a founding organizer and deputy director of the Peace Corps (1962-63) and special assistant to President Johnson for domestic policy before serving as his press secretary from 1965-67. He was publisher of Newsday for three years before joining the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in 1971, hosting Bill Moyers Journal. He served as senior correspondent for the CBS documentary series CBS Reports and for five years was senior news analyst of the CBS Evening News. He is president of the Schumann Media Center, a nonprofit organization for the support of independent journalism.
Moyers and his wife, Judith Davidson Moyers, have been responsible for highly praised explorations of death and dying, addiction and recovery, and faith and reason, as well as the acclaimed PBS series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth; America’s First River: Bill Moyers on the Hudson; The Language of Life; Genesis: A Living Conversation; The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith; Becoming American: The Chinese Experience and Amazing Grace. Until their retirement in January of 2015, they also produced the weekly television series NOW with Bill Moyers (2002–2004), Bill Moyers Journal (2007–2010) and Moyers & Company (2012–2015).
For his work, Moyers has received more than 36 Emmys, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, nine Peabodys and three George Polk Awards. Moyers received the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute in the first year it was bestowed. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he received the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association and the PEN USA Courageous Advocacy Award and has been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995.