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Tufts Commencement Speakers

Acclaimed journalist to share stage with Bill McCullough and Helen Vendler during Tufts Commencement ceremony.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [03.14.01] Emmy award-winning journalist Jim Lehrer will deliver the annual Commencement address at Tufts, university officials today announced. A critically acclaimed journalist, author and playwright, he is best known as the host of PBS' News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

"An embodiment of the Tufts spirit, Lehrer has combined a global perspective with a passion for knowledge to build an extremely successful and critically acclaimed career," Tufts President John DiBiaggio said, describing this year's keynote speaker. "A veteran professional and leader in the field, Lehrer continues to be a voice of truth, fairness and integrity."

Over the last 25 years, the veteran journalist has anchored the nightly news broadcast, helping to secure 30 awards for journalistic excellence for the program. In 1999, he was elected into the Television Hall of Fame and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton.

This past fall, Lehrer moderated all three presidential debates, marking the fourth straight election in which the veteran journalist officiated over the nationally televised events.

An acclaimed author, Lehrer has penned 12 novels, including "The Last Debate," which turned into a made-for-television movie that aired on Showtime in November 2000.

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, owned by Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, co-produces a wide range of programs and series for public, commerical and cable television -- several of which Lehrer has hosted. The most recent was the highly praised "Debating Our Destiny," in which Lehrer interviewed former presidential and vice presidential candidates about their debate experiences.

Lehrer will be joined by honorary degree recipients David McCullough and Helen Vendler during the May 20th ceremonies.

"A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, David McCullough is one of the most respected and popular American biographers of all time," notes DiBiaggio. "And Helen Vendler is a literary guide who has been hailed as our nation's finest interpreter of poetry. We are pleased that these three accomplished individuals will join the Tufts community as we celebrate our annual commencement ceremony."


Click Here for information on honorary degree recipients
Click Here for information on the other speakers
Click Here to read the press release
Click Here for Tufts' Commencement website

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