AUSTIN, Texas—Broadcast journalist and noted author Bill Moyers has accepted an invitation by UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner to deliver the University’s first spring Commencement address of the new millennium.
The 117th UT Commencement ceremony will be held May 20 on the South Terrace of the Main Building.
Moyers, whose work in television has been recognized with numerous honors, including more than 30 Emmy Awards and several George Peabody Awards, is a UT Austin Distinguished Alumnus.
“Bill Moyers employs his curiosity, his resourcefulness and his education to help America examine major issues in civilization — theology, political science, history, poetry and mythology,” said Faulkner. “With his record of public service, his passion for exploring the humanities and his faith in the human spirit, he is an ideal Commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2000. UT Austin is where his future began, and we are proud to invite him back home.”
A survey of television critics by Television Quarterly, the official journal of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, placed Moyers among the 10 journalists who have had the most significant influence on television news. He is one of the first three persons to be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Moyers was elected to the Television Hall of Fame in 1995 and, a year later, was honored by the National Endowment for the Humanities “for outstanding contributions to American cultural life.”
Moyers, who was long associated with the Public Broadcasting Service and with CBS News as a producer, correspondent and commentator, formed his own company, Public Affairs Television, Inc., in 1987.
Among his public television series are “Creativity, A Walk Through the 20th Century”, “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth”, “A World of Ideas”, “Healing and the Mind” and “Amazing Grace.” Several of his books based on the television series have become best sellers. His most recent publication, Fooling with Words: A Celebration of Poets and their Craft, was published this year.
Before entering broadcasting, Moyers was deputy director of the Peace Corps in the Kennedy Administration and special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1963-67, including two years as White House press secretary. A recent survey of readers from the American Journalism Review named Moyers “the best White House press secretary of all time.”
He left the White House in 1967 to become publisher of Newsday, was for 12 years a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, and now serves as president of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation. Moyers is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Organization of American Historians.
Born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas, Moyers began his varied career as a cub reporter on the Marshall News Messenger at age 16. He attended the University of Texas, wrote for The Daily Texan newspaper and was graduated with a degree in journalism in 1956. Moyers also holds the master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.