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Hardman Lecture Series

Hardman Lecture Series

This lecture series presents in-depth discussions with some of the leading journalists of our time and is made possible through the generosity of the Hardman Family Endowment.

 

2017 Hardman Lecture

Byron Pitts

Byron Pitts

 

Mass Media and Democratic Governance: The American Experience

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
7 p.m.
Church Street Center, Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium

Free and Open to the Public
Book signing post lecture
Information: 413.662.5224

Known for his thought-provoking coverage and his commitment to exceptional storytelling, Byron Pitts is a multiple Emmy award winning journalist and is a co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline. In 2013, Pitts became an anchor and the Chief National Correspondent at ABC. Prior to working for ABC, Pitts was the Chief National Correspondent for CBS Evening News With Katie Couric. He was also CBS’ lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11th attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage.

A news veteran with over 20 years of experience, other major stories Pitts has covered include the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, to name but a few. Pitts realized a life-long goal when he was named a Contributing Correspondent to CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2009. Pitts’ many achievements are all the more extraordinary when he tells of the many obstacles he faced as a child. Raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, Pitts was illiterate until the age of twelve and had a persistent stutter. Capitalizing on his desire to play football, his mother mandated he receive B’s or above in school in order to play. With that focus, Pitts learned to read and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University. With the help of his roommate and a college professor, Pitts found the support and encouragement necessary to pursue a career in broadcast journalism—a field that demands excellence in writing and speaking. By staying focused, setting simple and achievable goals and finding strength in faith, Pitts overcame powerful odds. He graduated in 1982 with a BA in Journalism and Speech Communication.

Byron recently released his second book, Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope. Through stirring interviews and with his award-winning storytelling ability, Byron Pitts brings the struggles and triumphs of six everyday heroes to other teens just like them, encouraging all to be the source of inspiration in their own lives and to appreciate the lives of others around them.

Pitts’ grit and determination shone throughout his illustrious career garnered him several prestigious awards, including a national Emmy Award for his coverage of the Chicago train wreck of 1999, a National Association of Black Journalists Award, and second national Emmy Award for individual reporting of the September 11th terror attacks. He is also the recipient of four Associated Press Awards and six regional Emmy Awards.

 

Past speakers of the Hardman Lecture Series (view photos):  

2016-2017: Abderrahim Foukara

2015-2016: Joy Reid

2014-2015: Nicholas Kristof

2013-2014: Jeff Corwin

2012-2013: Howard Kurtz

2011-2012: Soledad O'Brien

2010-2011: Laura Ling

2009-2010: Charlayne Hunter-Gault

2008-2009: David Brooks

2007-2008: Bill McKibben, Marianne Pearl

2006-2007: Derrick Jackson, Bob Simon

2005-2006: Dan Harris, Ellen Goodman

2004-2005: Ellen Hume, Alan Chartock

 

Past Journalists-in-Residence:  

2017: Dolores Barclay

2016: Seth Rogovoy

2015: John and Anastasia Stanmeyer

2014: Kevin Moran

2013: Mark Kinver

2012: Joe Donahue

2011: Lydia Kulbida

2009: Rex Smith