Meredith Vieira to Deliver Address at Tufts' Commencement

Emmy Award-winning Journalist and TV Personality Will Receive Honorary Degree from Alma Mater on May 18; Will Be Joined by Distinguished Tufts Administrator, Poet, Artist/Social Entrepreneur, and Medical Pioneers
February 26, 2008

For More Information or to Request a Photo from this News Release, Contact:

Public Relations

617.627.3069

Kalimah Redd Knight

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- Meredith Vieira, Emmy Award-winning journalist and television personality, will return to her alma mater to deliver the commencement address at Tufts University on Sunday, May 18, 2008.

"Meredith Vieira is one of the most respected figures in American journalism today, with a unique perspective on both the news itself and the business of news," said Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. "Tufts is very proud to claim her as a distinguished graduate, and I know that her remarks will resonate with our graduates and their families."
 
Vieira, who has won nine Emmy Awards, has co-anchored "Today" on NBC since September 2006. She also hosts the syndicated program "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", making her one of the rare television personalities to have two concurrent programs on air. She began her television career as a local reporter and anchor at WJAR-TV Providence, later making her way into the newsroom at WCBS-TV in New York City, where she was a reporter. She first gained national recognition as a CBS News reporter in Chicago from 1982 to 1984. She later became an award-winning correspondent for the CBS news-magazine shows, "West 57th" and "60 Minutes." Her departure from "60 Minutes" over management's refusal to allow her to continue to work part-time to care for her young children sparked a national debate about whether women could balance both family and career.
 
Vieira served as co-anchor of the "CBS Morning News," as chief correspondent for the ABC news-magazine show "Turning Point," as the moderator and co-host of ABC's "The View" and as host of Lifetime's "Intimate Portrait." Vieira was raised in Providence, R.I., and graduated from Tufts University in 1975.
 
At commencement, to be held at 9 a.m. on the green on Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus, Vieira will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Five other distinguished leaders will also receive honorary doctorates.
 
In addition to Vieira, honorary degree recipients include:

Steven S. Manos, executive vice president of Tufts University for 26 years, whose superb management skills and vision helped the university become a leading teaching and research institution; honorary doctorate of business administration

Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning poetrenowned for her evocative and precise imagery, who continues to influence generations of poets; honorary doctorate of humane letters
 
Susan Rodgerson, artist, teacher, entrepreneur and moving spirit behind Artists for Humanity, a non-profit organization that engages urban teens in art and the creative process while connecting them to the business community; honorary doctorate of public service

Robert S. Schwartz, MD, widely recognized contributor to hematology and immunology, whose path-breaking contributions to the development of immunosuppressive drugs helped make organ transplantation possible; deputy editor of "The New England Journal of Medicine"; 30-year faculty member at the Tufts University School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts Medical Center; honorary doctorate of science

Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, senior vice president for health sciences, Howard University; director of the Program in Minority Health and Health Disparities Education and Research, professor of medicine and emeritus dean at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; the nation's first African-American dean at a predominantly white medical school; graduate of Tufts School of Medicine; honorary doctorate of science

In addition, on Saturday, May 17, Joseph Polisi, president of the Julliard School, leading writer and commentator on the role of music and the arts in public policy, and a graduate of The Fletcher School, will address Fletcher graduates during their annual Class Day ceremonies.
 
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.