Journalist Bob Woodruff to deliver 2008 Commencement address for Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF
Journalist Bob Woodruff to deliver 2008 Commencement address for Syracuse University, SUNY-ESFMarch 03, 2008Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff will deliver the 2008 Commencement address to graduates of Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) during joint exercises Sunday, May 11, in the Carrier Dome.
On Jan. 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces from the front lines as an embedded journalist with the First Marine Division, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. Today, Woodruff has returned to work at ABC News after recovering from the life-threatening head injury and continues outpatient rehabilitation in the New York area.
“I am very pleased that Bob Woodruff will share his inspiring words with our graduates, their families and the community, drawn from his professional experiences as an international journalist and his more personal experiences with coping and recovery,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “He is an individual of remarkable courage and professionalism, and is a great model of human resiliency.”
In February 2007, Woodruff and his wife, Lee, released “In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love, Courage, and Healing” (Random House), their personal memoir about Woodruff’s recovery after his injury in Iraq and the medical and family support that helped him heal.
Woodruff joined ABC News in 1996 and has covered major stories throughout the country and around the world for the network. He was named co-anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight” in December 2005. Previously the anchor of the weekend edition of “World News Tonight” and one of ABC News’ top correspondents, Woodruff has covered major stories both in the United States and overseas. His reports from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina helped focus the nation’s attention on the devastation there. He was ABC’s lead correspondent on the Asian tsunami of December 2005, reporting from Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Woodruff covered the nuclear showdown in Iran and, in June 2005, obtained unprecedented access to the famously secretive North Korea.
Before moving to New York in 2002, Woodruff worked out of ABC News’ London Bureau. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he was among the first Western reporters in Pakistan and was one of ABC’s lead foreign correspondents during the war in Afghanistan, reporting from Kabul and Kandahar on the fall of the Taliban. His overseas reporting of the fallout from Sept. 11 was part of ABC News’ coverage recognized with the Alfred I. duPont Award and the George Foster Peabody Award, the two highest honors in broadcast journalism. He was also a part of the ABC News team recognized with an Alfred I. duPont award for live coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Also a former attorney, Woodruff holds a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School as well as a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.
Woodruff was chosen as this year’s Commencement speaker through a selection process designed to give students and others in the University community the opportunity to assist in the decision making. A student committee composed of the senior class marshals, the student marshals from each of the University’s schools and colleges, and the three student representatives to the University’s Board of Trustees coordinated the process. Suggestions were collected through a website and offered directly to the committee. The committee reviewed all potential speakers and made specific suggestions to Cantor, whose office conveyed the invitation to Woodruff.
The 2008 honorary degree recipients will be announced at a later date. Details and news on Commencement Weekend 2008 are updated regularly at http://commencement.syr.edu.