Charles Gibson, one of the preeminent broadcast television journalists of his time, will deliver Shenandoah University’s 2015 Commencement address on Saturday, May 9. Gibson will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
With more than 40 years of experience – 33 of those at ABC News – Gibson reported from across the country and around the world, covering presidential election cycles, filing reports from war-torn countries, interviewing influential world leaders and co-anchoring the “Good Morning America” broadcast on the morning of September 11, 2001.
Gibson retired in 2009 after nearly four years as anchor of ABC’s flagship broadcast “ABC World News” and, at the time of his retirement, he was also the network’s principal anchor for breaking news, election coverage and special events.
“Charlie Gibson’s professionalism is unparalleled, and his contributions to the field of broadcast journalism are unmatched,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. “He and his family have been truly generous to our university throughout the years, and we are honored that he will address our Class of 2015.”
Gibson’s family has a long-standing association with the university. The Langdon Gibson II Music Scholarship Fund was established in June 2006 through a donation by Gibson and funds from the estate of Langdon Gibson, his late brother, who had been a supporter of Shenandoah Conservatory, and frequently held concerts that featured conservatory students and faculty in his home in Clarke County, Virginia. Charles Gibson attended many of those performances.
Three Shenandoah Conservatory alumni benefited from the scholarship during their time at the school, including Farid Javidan-Samani ’09, ’11, Rafael Almario ’11 and Zachary Whitaker ’14.
In 1989, Shenandoah University’s Communications Department (now the Mass Communications Department) recognized Gibson with a special award for Distinguished Service in Communications.
Before being named anchor of “World News” in 2006, Gibson was co-anchor of “Good Morning America.” He co-anchored the morning program from 1987 to 1998, and then returned to “GMA” to re-launch the broadcast with Diane Sawyer in January of 1999. In addition, he was also co-anchor of “Primetime Thursday,” now known as “Primetime,” from 1998 to 2004.
Gibson served in several other ABC News roles, including White House correspondent from 1976 to 1977; general assignment reporter from 1977 to 1981; and chief correspondent at the House of Representatives from 1981 to 1987.
The National Endowment for the Humanities named Gibson a National Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1973, and for years, he served as a board member of this program, now known as the Knight-Wallace Fellows at Michigan.
In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Paul White Award from the Radio and Television News Directors of America (now known as the Radio Television Digital News Association). He received the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from Quinnipiac University in 2008.
Gibson is a graduate of Princeton University, where he was news director for the university’s radio station, WPRB-FM, and now serves on the board of trustees. In 1992, he received the John Maclean Fellowship award from Princeton.
A native of Evanston, Illinois, Gibson grew up in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Arlene, have two daughters and four grandchildren – two grandsons and two granddaughters.
Shenandoah University’s May Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2015, on the intramural field behind the Brandt Student Center, located on the main campus of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. The ceremony will stream live at su.edu/commencement-webcast. Visit su.edu/commencement for more details on Shenandoah University’s 2015 Commencement exercises.