NBC's Brian Williams to speak at Ohio State's spring commencement
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will be the speaker for Ohio State's spring commencement, set for Sunday, June 8, at Ohio Stadium.
Williams, who anchors the nation's highest-rated evening news program, co-hosted the Obama-Clinton debate in Cleveland earlier this year.
"We are honored that Brian Williams will speak to the graduates and their families at Ohio State's spring commencement ceremony," said President E. Gordon Gee. "Mr. Williams is among the most thoughtful and respected professionals in broadcast journalism. His expertise contributes greatly to our understanding of world events."
Since joining NBC News in 1993, Williams has become one of the nation's foremost television journalists. He is only the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News. In his first two years on the job, he became the most highly decorated network evening news anchor of the modern era. He has received six Edward R. Murrow Awards, seven Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia University Award and the industry's highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award. Most were awarded for his work in New Orleans while covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Vanity Fair magazine later called his work "Murrow-worthy," and The New York Times said his reporting of Katrina was "a defining moment as a network reporter and anchor." In 2006, Time magazine named Brian Williams one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Williams is a former NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, and former anchor and managing editor of The News With Brian Williams on MSNBC and CNBC. He has traveled the world extensively, including two years with the President on board Air Force One. He has covered numerous nominating conventions and presidential campaigns and elections, and has moderated several presidential debates. He was the first NBC News correspondent to reach Baghdad during the 2003 war in Iraq, and was part of a U.S. Army helicopter mission that was forced down by enemy fire south of Najaf. He nonetheless has returned to Iraq several times.
A native of Middletown, New Jersey, he spent many years as a volunteer firefighter, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Williams attended Catholic University and George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C. He is a former White House intern, and has been awarded seven honorary degrees.
Williams is a frequent guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and has often appeared with David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. He has written for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. After hosting Saturday Night Live in November, Entertainment Weekly said his name belongs alongside SNL's all-time greats.
He is married to Jane Stoddard Williams, and the couple has a daughter in college and a son in high school. Brian Williams was named "Father of the Year" in 1996 by the National Father's Day Committee.
Approximately 7,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students will receive degrees at the ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. Graduates and guests can find complete information on the ceremony at http://www.osu.edu/commence/