Morgan State University Announces Kim Godwin, President of ABC News, as Fall 2023 Commencement Speaker
Journalism Trailblazer to Offer Words of Inspiration to Graduating Class of More than 500 Students; Fmr. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to Receive Honorary Degree
Baltimore — Morgan State University President David K. Wilson announced today that Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, will be the keynote speaker for the University’s 10th Fall Commencement Ceremony. As the first Black woman to serve as a news network president, Godwin will share the story of her journey to the highest echelons of leadership in the broadcast news industry while challenging the graduating class to follow their dreams and embrace the responsibility of the future. Morgan will also bestow her with an honorary degree—a Doctor of Public Service—in appreciation of her contributions to journalism. Former Maryland governor, the Honorable Larry Hogan, and the former president of Thomas Edison State University, George A. Pruitt, Ph.D., will also receive honorary degrees during commencement, a Doctor of Public Service and a Doctor of Humane Letters, respectively. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Talmadge L. Hill Field House before an assembly of graduates, faculty, University officials, and guests on Friday, December 15.
“In a world where women have endured undue marginalization, hurdles, and scrutiny, Kim Godwin’s rise and accomplishments embody perseverance, determination, and the audacity to succeed. She is a proven leader and a true visionary who took over one of America’s top broadcast networks, serving as a stalwart for innovation, diversity and excellence,” said President Wilson. “Her career trajectory serves as a stellar example for our students to follow while emphasizing the significance of exercising professional responsibility and the great benefit of challenging oneself to think and act boldly in the face of adversity or dismantling barriers.”
Throughout her career, Godwin has overseen newsgathering and managed complete editorial oversight across a global portfolio of news properties. At the network level, Godwin has executive produced news programming, managed a nightly news broadcast, created cross-digital content, and earned recognition for award-winning programming and reporting. Since joining ABC News in 2021, Godwin has led the editorial and business operations for broadcast, digital, streaming and audio news across the organization.
In addition to guiding the development of award-winning content, Godwin has built a more diverse talent and senior executive team that better reflects and represents the communities ABC News serves. She has also diversified content on all platforms. In 2022, under Godwin’s leadership, ABC News earned a record 41 Emmy nominations in 28 categories ― the most of any news division and the most for ABC News in 53 years.
“From one proud HBCU alum to the graduates of another outstanding HBCU, I am absolutely honored to deliver the Fall 2023 commencement speech at Morgan State University, Maryland’s preeminent public urban research university,” said ABC News president Kim Godwin. “I am also very humbled to receive the honorary doctorate degree, which I dedicate to the young generation of bright students who are the guardians of our future."
Throughout her notable career, Godwin has received many recognitions for her outstanding contributions as a pioneer in the broadcast industry and a community advocate. In 2023, Godwin received the inaugural Silver Circle Emmy, was honored with the T. Howard Foundation’s Executive Champion Award for her commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, included on the ColorComm28 list, named one of Ad Age’s “Leading Women,” was highlighted in Variety’s New Power of New York list, and featured on Crain’s New York “Notable Black Leaders” list.
In 2022, Godwin was named one of the “Most Powerful People in New York Media” by The Hollywood Reporter, featured on EBONY’s Power 100 list as a “Media Maven,” and included on Variety 500 and Insider’s “100 People Transforming Business” list. She was also honored with the Gracie’s Leadership Award by the Alliance for Women in Media and the 2022 Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) First Amendment Service Award. Throughout her career, Godwin has received six national news and documentary Emmy® Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, and a Sigma Delta Chi Award. She is also a well-regarded member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She was recognized in November 2020 by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with the Ida B. Wells Award for advocating for coverage of communities of color, building a diverse newsroom, and championing young journalists throughout their careers.
Godwin is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism. She is currently chairing the board of visitors at her alma mater’s journalism school.
The Honorable Larry Hogan served as Maryland’s 62nd governor after being elected in 2014, becoming only the second Republican to hold the office in nearly 50 years. Before his election to the state’s highest office, Gov. Hogan worked in the private sector as a successful Maryland businessman for more than 25 years. In 2016, Gov. Hogan delivered the keynote address for Morgan’s Honors Convocation. Gov. Hogan, a cancer survivor, was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term in 2018, following four years of economic success. When he left office, nearly 80% of all Marylanders approved of the job he did, the highest of any governor in Maryland history and one of the highest of any governor in the nation. In recognition of his service to the state of Maryland, including his untiring support of Morgan State and other Maryland HBCUs, the University will bestow him with an Honorary Doctor of Public Service.
Dr. George A. Pruitt serves as president emeritus and Board Distinguished Fellow at Thomas Edison State University. Dr. Pruitt was appointed the institution’s third president in December 1982 and served for over 35 years. He is among the longest-serving public university presidents in the nation and was identified as one of the country’s most effective college presidents in a study of presidential leadership funded by the Exxon Education Foundation. Active in formulating educational policy nationally and within the State of New Jersey, he has served in an advisory capacity to five education secretaries under three US presidents of both parties. He has received numerous awards, honors and commendations and has consulted widely in higher education, business and government. Before his tenure at Thomas Edison State University, he served in executive leadership positions at numerous universities, including Morgan State University. The University will bestow upon him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his lifelong commitment and contributions to higher education.
Morgan will host its Fall Commencement on Friday, December 15, at the Talmadge Hill Field House. For more information about Morgan’s Fall 2023 Commencement Exercises, visit the official commencement site online.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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