April 12, 2007

Journalist Bill Moyers to Give Commencement Address

Two Honorary Degree Recipients to Hold Symposia

DALLAS (SMU) Distinguished television journalist and commentator Bill Moyers will give the address at SMU's 92nd annual commencement Saturday, May 19. SMU will award more than 2,000 degrees at the university-wide ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Moody Coliseum. Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees will be conferred upon Moyers, Dallas civic and business leader William T. Solomon and writer and SMU educator Marshall Terry.

Commencement Weekend at SMU is a time of traditions and ceremonies, beginning with symposia Friday featuring Solomon and Terry (Read more about the symposia.), Baccalaureate Service on Friday evening and commencement Saturday morning. Individual schools and departments will present diplomas in separate ceremonies Saturday afternoon and evening. (Read more about Commencement Weekend.)

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers is best known for his incisive television documentaries exploring global issues and providing an informed perspective on American political, economic and societal concerns. Early in his journalism career, he was publisher of Newsday in New York. He turned from print journalism to television in 1971 as producer and host of Bill Moyers' Journal on the Public Broadcasting System. He later served as a correspondent and commentator for CBS before founding Public Affairs Television, an independent production company, in 1986. Since then he has produced hundreds of groundbreaking investigative documentaries, interviews with some of the world's leading thinkers and several books based on his television programs.

Moyers has received virtually every major television journalism honor, including more than 30 Emmy Awards, a lifetime Peabody Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Television Academy, the duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award and election to the Television Hall of Fame. Before his journalism career, he served in Washington as special assistant and White House Press Secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Moyers earned a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, followed by a B.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Baptist minister.

William T. Solomon

William T. Solomon has played a pivotal role in the development of Dallas and in expanding opportunities for Dallas citizens. He currently is chair of Austin Industries Inc., a general construction company that he joined in 1967. As president, he transformed it into an employee-owned corporation with a diverse workforce. The firm's landmark Dallas buildings include the American Airlines Center and SMU's Greer Garson Theatre and Meadows Museum. As founding co-chair of the Dallas Together Forum, Solomon helped remove racial barriers and increase economic opportunities for minorities.

Mr. Solomon has served as chair of the Dallas Citizens Council and the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce and on numerous boards, including the SMU Board of Trustees and boards of UT Southwestern Medical Foundation and the Salvation Army. He chaired the recent Innovations in Medicine campaign for UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. His community service honors include the Linz Award, J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU's Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Solomon earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering from SMU and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He has received SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award and the Hall of Leaders Award of the SMU School of Engineering.

Marshall Terry

Marshall Terry has devoted his professional life to SMU, where he earned both B.A. and M.A. degrees. He has influenced generations of students as a gifted teacher, mentor and writer, and has played a major role in the advancement of the University. He began teaching English in 1954 and combined teaching with serving as director of public relations and assistant to SMU President Willis M. Tate from 1957 to 1965. He coordinated and wrote the Master Plan of 1963, which reaffirmed and articulated the University's mission and laid the foundation for its future. Terry twice chaired the English Department, in which he introduced and directed the creative writing program.

Professor Terry founded the SMU Literary Festival and has directed SMU programs in Madrid, Oxford and Taos. He also served as Faculty Senate president and associate provost for undergraduate education. Terry is the author of 11 books, including novels, short stories and a history of SMU. His writing honors include the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award for a "career of excellence in letters," highest honor of the Texas Institute of Letters, the Institute's Jesse H. Jones Fiction Award and the PEN Texas Award. SMU has honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Award, "M" Award, three Rotunda Outstanding Professor Awards and two Willis M. Tate Awards for Outstanding Faculty. Terry will retire this year as E.A. Lilly Distinguished Professor of English, after more than 50 years at SMU.

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